A bill that would bring changes to how organ transplants are managed in the United States has been passed unanimously by both chambers of Congress and is awaiting President Joe Biden’s expected signature. The current system, called the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), has been run by the nonprofit organization United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) since its creation in 1986. However, UNOS has faced scrutiny in recent years, with lawmakers uncovering transportation and testing failures and outdated information technology that have put patients’ lives at risk. The legislation passed by Congress will ease restrictions on the contracting process and allow for a competitive and open bidding process. UNOS has welcomed the legislation and is committed to working with stakeholders to ensure the best possible system for patients and donors.
President Biden is expected to sign the legislation and has also requested increased funding in his FY24 budget to update the OPTN. The reform is expected to lead to 1,000 more organ transplants every year.