AST Statement on HRSA’s OPTN Modernization Initiative

Friday, March 31, 2023

The demand for life-saving organs continues to outpace the supply, with more than 100,000 individuals awaiting a transplant in the United States. The AST is supportive of changes that will lead to increasing the number of transplants and ultimately enhance and save lives. These changes should include research and transplant system innovation as well as clinical changes. 

The AST welcomes the opportunity to be a strong partner with HRSA and other key stakeholders to modernize the U.S. transplant system and improve care for all transplant patients. Given the complexities of the current transplant system, any decentralized approach to the OPTN contract will require effective communication among all entities and increased federal funding to implement and maintain through HRSA’s Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Modernization Initiative. We are encouraged by the proposed increases in HRSA’s budget for FY 2024 to support the OPTN contract that will be needed to grow and improve upon the current system. We would also note that in order to maintain progress in improving the OPTN this federal funding will need to be sustained beyond FY 2024. Throughout the modernization process, it is imperative that potential impacts to transplant candidates and recipients are thoroughly understood, as their best interests must be the primary focus. The AST remains committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to achieve our shared goal of improving the transplant system and saving more lives.