A bipartisan bill led by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to improve access to lifesaving organ donations became law today. The Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act will improve management of the U.S. organ donation system by breaking up the contract for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and encouraging participation from competent and transparent contractors. U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) are original cosponsors of the legislation.
“In my nearly two decades spent fighting for U.S. organ donation reforms, I’ve heard far too many stories of patients who have lost their lives due to negligence and abuse of the system. Today’s bill signing opens a new chapter in our nation’s organ donation system by addressing the many failures that have plagued the organ procurement network, with disastrous consequences. This law will help bring positive outcomes for thousands of patients, including the nearly 600 Iowans currently waiting to receive an organ transplant,” Grassley said.
“This is a banner day in the effort to improve the organ transplant system in the United States,” Wyden said. “For too long, thousands of families have had to watch a loved one struggle while waiting for an organ transplant because the system has been inefficient and unaccountable. With this law, that starts to change: there is going to be accountability, know-how, and improvements to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network so more Americans are connected with a life-saving transplant. I want to thank my bipartisan partners on the progress made so far and look forward to continuing our work to improve this system so it meets the high standard American families expect.”
“Signing the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act into law moves the country toward a more transparent and equitable system that will save lives,” Cardin said. “I’m proud of the effort of the Senate Finance Committee and the work of my colleagues to pass meaningful, bipartisan legislation that will improve the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. Now, more patients, particularly those in underserved communities, will be able to access transplants safely and efficiently.”
“This is an important day for thousands of Americans who are in need of life-saving transplants. The bipartisan Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act includes necessary reforms that will help ensure accountability and transformation in the organ donation and transplant system. I’m glad to see this life-saving bill signed into law,” Young said.
“The management of the U.S. organ transplant system needed serious reform,” Cassidy said. “Breaking up this monopoly increases competition and saves lives. Proud to see our legislation become law.”
This law is the result of decades of oversight work conducted by the Senate Finance Committee. Grassley first launched an investigation into the organ donation system as Finance Committee chair in 2005 and continued his inquiries, while gaining bipartisan support, during his chairmanship in 2020. The Biden administration praised Grassley earlier this year for his work to unite political parties around the issue and increase accountability in the organ donation system.