Troubled U.S. Organ Transplant System Targeted for Overhaul
The government wants to to break up the UNOS monopoly
The government announced plans Wednesday to overhaul the troubled U.S. organ transplant system, including breaking up the monopoly power of the nonprofit organization that has run it for the past 37 years.
If successful, the proposal would leave little unaffected in the sprawling, multibillion-dollar network that sends kidneys, livers and other organs from deceased donors to severely ill recipients. That system has long been criticized as inadequate: Nearly 104,000 people are on waiting lists for organs, most of them kidneys; 22 people die each day awaiting transplants, with poor and minority patients generally faring worse than affluent and White people.
Carole Johnson, administrator of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, the agency responsible for the network, is proposing to break up responsibility for some of the functions performed by its nonprofit manager, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which is the only entity ever to operate the U.S. transplant system.
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