(WASHINGTON) – Yesterday ASH submitted
comments to the Health Resources and Services Administration of the Department
of Health and Human Services supporting a proposed rule that would ban financial compensation to all bone marrow donors by
changing the definition of “Human Organ” under section 301 of the National
Organ Transplant Act of 1984.
As the world’s largest professional society concerned with
the causes and treatment of blood disorders, the American Society of Hematology
(ASH) represents more than 14,000 clinicians and scientists worldwide committed
to the study and treatment of blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and
myeloma, as well as serious blood diseases such as hemophilia. For patients
with life-threatening blood cancers, a transplant of blood-forming stem cells
from a healthy donor is one of the best options for treatment and a potential
cure. Hematologists have been pioneers in the fields of stem cell biology,
regenerative medicine, and bone marrow transplantation and remain at the
forefront of discovery in the area of bone marrow transplantation.
ASH recognizes that voluntary bone marrow donations are a
vital part of bone marrow transplantation and supports the proposed rule which
incorporates hematopoietic stem cells within peripheral blood in the definition
of “bone marrow.” ASH supports the Administration’s position of not allowing
compensation for bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells for clinical use
and is concerned that compensation may interfere in clinical decision making
and may jeopardize the safety, quality, and affordability of transplantation.
In contrast to clinical use, the Society supports compensation for individuals
who donate marrow or peripheral blood cells for critical scientific research
that advances the field of transplantation.
Reporters who wish to
speak with an ASH member expert on bone marrow transplantation and the proposed
federal rule may contact Andrea Slesinski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-552-4927.
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org)
is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to
furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders
affecting the blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the
development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care,
education, training, and advocacy in hematology. The official journal of ASH is
the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available
weekly in print and online.
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