AAKP Supports Increase Funding for Organ donation & Transplantation Programs

HRSA Organ Donation & Transplantation Funding for FY 2015

April 7, 2014

The Honorable Tom Harkin
Chairman
Senate L/HHS Appropriation Subcommittee
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Jack Kingston
Chairman
House L/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Jerry Moran
Ranking Member
Senate L/HHS Appropriation Subcommittee
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Ranking Member
House L/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee
Washington, D.C. 20515

Re: HRSA Organ Donation & Transplantation Funding for FY 2015

Dear Chairmen Harkin and Kingston, and Ranking Members Moran and DeLauro:

On behalf of the Transplant Roundtable, a coalition of organ transplant patient, professional, and related organizations, the undersigned urge you to adopt the President’s budget request of $24,000,000 for FY 2015 for the organ donation and transplantation programs run by the Division of Transplantation (DoT) within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This represents a $0.5 million increase in funding over the enacted FY 2014 funding level.

We thank you for your long-standing commitment to these programs and ask again for your assistance as these and other programs funded through DoT are very worthy of additional federal investment as they produce a major return on this investment, year after year.

 

Adoption of a $0.5 million increase in funding for FY 2015 would make a real difference. DoT’s role and function is essential, providing oversight and funding for the nation’s organ procurement, allocation, and transplantation system through the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) including coordination of all organ and tissue donation activities and funds donation research. Also, DoT provides funding for travel and subsistence expenses of living donors whose low income may otherwise prohibit them from donating through the National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC). All of these activities translate into saving lives and improving the quality of life of scores of individuals throughout the country.

As of March 2014, the national patient waiting list for organ transplants contained more than 121,655 listings and these numbers continue to grow.  The total number of transplants during 2013 was approximately 29,000, with more than 14,000 donors during that same time period.  On average, 79 people receive organ transplants every day; however, 18 people die each day waiting for transplants that do not occur because of the shortage of donated organs, according to DoT data.

Because of your leadership, the critical work of the agencies, and private sector allies, transplantation has saved and enhanced or saved the lives of more than 600,000 people in the United States, greatly reducing the number of deaths on the waiting list, and generating substantial savings to the Medicare program.

We all should be very proud of our contribution to facilitating and providing these life-saving services, but we need your continued leadership to protect this vital, federal commitment to funding these programs and fulfilling this mission. Therefore, we ask you to again champion federal funding for organ donation and transplantation programs run through HRSA. On behalf of transplant patients and their families, thank you for your leadership on transplantation and organ donation activities.

If you have any questions, please contact Peter Thomas, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, at peter.thomas@ppsv.com or 202-466-6550.

Sincerely,

American Society of Transplant Surgeons

American Society of Transplantation

Association of Organ Procurement Organizations

Dialysis Patient Citizens

Eye Bank Association of America

Transplant Recipients International Organization

American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

NATCO, The Organization for Transplant Professionals

Alliance for Paired Donation

Texas Transplant Society

United Network for Organ Sharing

National Kidney Foundation

American Association of Kidney Patients

American Society of Pediatric Nephrology

Renal Physicians Association

American Society of Nephrology

PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation