ROCKVILLE, Md. (Aug. 8, 2022) — LaVarne A. Burton, President and CEO of the American Kidney Fund (AKF), issued the following statement about the United States Senate Finance Committee's hearing on the U.S. transplant system:
"A bipartisan investigation into the United Network of Organ Sharing and its oversight of the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network has brought to light several deeply troubling findings, including issues related to patient safety, transport and care of organs from deceased patients, accountability of organ procurement organizations and the organ transplant system's technological capabilities and security.
"The Senate Finance Committee's Aug. 3 hearing on this matter comes less than six months after the National Academy of Sciences released a comprehensive report that concluded the U.S. organ transplant system is 'demonstrably inequitable.'
"That study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, made a number of near- and long-term recommendations to create a fairer and more transparent and efficient system for deceased donor organs.
"Kidney transplantation is considered the best treatment option for most people with kidney failure, which disproportionately impacts people of color, because it can increase their chances of living a longer, healthier life. However, the demand for organ transplant substantially exceeds the supply. Currently, there are almost 106,000 Americans on the transplant organ waiting list, with the vast majority in need of a kidney. Thousands of people die each year because of the dire shortage of kidneys and other organs for transplant.
"According to this week's report from the Finance Committee, a series of disturbing failures in recent years have put patient safety at risk and left viable organs unrecovered. The 106,000 people in the United States fighting for their lives deserve better.
"The American Kidney Fund strongly supports the National Academies' recommendations to achieve equity in organ transplantation. We also call for immediate actions to implement Congressional recommendations that would improve safety and oversight within the organ procurement system as well as enhance technological capabilities."
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.