Jul 28 2023
WASHINGTON – Last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to help break up the monopoly contract currently held by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to manage the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN).
The legislation would remove barriers in OPTN contracting and give the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) statutory authority to improve management of the organ transplantation system in the U.S. The current OPTN contract is set to expire September 30, 2023, making the proposed changes urgent and timely for HRSA to make meaningful reforms.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed this legislation earlier this week, and it now goes to the President to be signed into law.
“From damaged organs to discriminatory organ donation policies, it’s clear UNOS should no longer be the sole contractor for the organ donation system,” said Sen. Moran. “I have worked for years to shed light on the mismanagement of the organ donation system and have consistently called for the contract to be divided. Once signed into law, this legislation will help provide greater transparency to the organ donation system and change how the contract is divided. Every organ counts, and now the system will be overhauled to help save lives.”
Additional co-sponsors include Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.).
A two-page summary of the bill can be found here. A section by section can be found here.
Timeline of Sen. Moran’s involvement in ending the UNOS contract:
- May 2023: Sen. Moran joins his colleagues in introducing the Securing the U.S. OPTN Act.
- March 2023: Sen. Moran secures a commitment from HHS Secretary Becerra to review the 2018 liver allocation rule in response to new data.
- September 2022: Sen. Moran publishes op-ed in Modern Healthcare titled, “Competition needed to address a flawed organ donation system”
- January 2022: Sens. Moran and Blunt lead 14 senators in demanding Biden administration reverse its “biased, partial, and unjust” National Liver Distribution Policy
- December 2021: Sens. Moran and Blunt publish op-ed in the Kansas City Star titled, “System for liver plants is rigged against those who live in the Midwest or South”
- December 2021: Sens. Moran and Blunt demand HHS reverse flawed liver allocation policy
- February 2020: Sen. Moran speaks on Senate Floor regarding harmful national liver allocation policy
- January 2020: Sens. Moran and Blunt urge HHS to continue delaying changes to National Liver Distribution Policy
- August 2019: Sens. Moran and Blunt press HHS Secretary Azar on proposed changes to kidney, pancreas allocation policies
- May 2019: Sens. Moran and Blunt call for delay in Liver Allocation Policy pending GAO study
- April 2019: Sen. Moran questions HHS Secretary Azar on liver allocation policy
- January 2019: Sens. Moran and Blunt, 20 Senate colleagues demand answers on changes to National Liver Distribution Policy
- December 2018: Sens. Moran and Blunt challenge flawed changes to National Liver Distribution Policy
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