ROCKVILLE, Md. (July 26, 2023) – LaVarne A. Burton, President and CEO of the American Kidney Fund (AKF), issued the following statement about the passage of the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act (H.R. 2544) in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. This bipartisan legislation allows the Health Resources and Services Administration to change how it contracts the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), allowing for increased competition for the management of OPTN and its critical functions such as logistics and information technology.
"Having an effective and efficient OPTN is critical to ensuring lifesaving organs are matched with people on the transplant waiting list, including the more than 90,000 who are on the waiting list for a kidney. The statistics are alarming and heartbreaking. Last year, just 1 in 4 people waiting for a kidney in the United States were able to receive a transplant. Records show that in 2019, the proportion of available deceased-donor kidneys not transplanted was 20%. In other words, 1 in 5 of all deceased-donor kidneys were not used — a tragic waste.
"Today's actions will help modernize the OPTN so that it better serves people who need an organ transplant, especially those living with kidney disease. We strongly support efforts that will improve safety, equity and oversight within the organ procurement system as well as enhance its technological capabilities.
"We are hopeful that strengthening accountability and transparency of the current system will not only address troublesome issues like procured kidneys not being transplanted, but also improve health equity in organ transplantation so that everyone has an equitable opportunity to receive a transplant. AKF urges the U.S. Senate to pass this bill as soon as possible."
Prior to the passage of H.R. 2544, AKF signed on to a letter commending the introduction of the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act. AKF also joined other kidney organizations in a letter to HRSA welcoming the announcement of President Biden's OPTN Modernization Initiative and supporting its goals to strengthen accountability, equity and performance in the organ donation and transplantation system.
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.