#MakeTransplantsFair: Comment Period Open on Much-Needed Transplant Reform

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Liver Committee is currently considering a proposal to improve the system that governs the distribution of livers for transplant. The reforms would help ameliorate long-standing disparities in wait times for patients needing liver transplants in throughout the country, and would save hundreds of lives if implemented. The public comment period on this proposal has begun! The amount of supportive comments received will be a key factor for the Committee in determining whether to move forward with these changes.  

Under the current system, there are significant geographic disparities in wait times to receive a life-saving organ transplant. Consequently, people living in some parts of the country wait far longer and are sicker when they receive an organ than those in other parts of the country. Consequently, hundreds of Americans needlessly die every year while waiting for organs. Patients from across the country have spoken out against the inequities in the current system.
Unfortunately, an organized group of opponents — who universally benefit from the inequality in the current system — have taken every possibly opportunity to block these needed reforms, including flooding the public comment periods with letters of resistance. To ensure that the science behind these proposals is not overcome by the politics, it is vital that we encourage as many individuals as possible to voice their support for these proposals.
Without our support, there is a significant possibility that these reforms may never be implemented — and patients waiting on the list will continue to suffer.
Additionally, CODE will be highlighting the urgency of the need to reduce disparity on social media. Be sure to follow CODE on twitter @CODE_coalition, and join in the conversation using #MakeTransplantsFair. 

Billy Wynne