September 22,2023

Wyden, Grassley, Cardin, Young, Cassidy Cheer Organ Transplant Legislation Becoming Law

President’s Signature Marks Important Step Towards Reforming Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to Increase Accountability and Help Families

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Chuck Grassley, R- Iowa, Ben Cardin, D-Md., Todd Young, R-Ind., Bill Cassidy M.D., R-La., today celebrated the signing into law of H.R. 2544, the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act. The legislation passed Congress unanimously at the end of July.

“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.”

“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.

“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,” said Cardin. “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 (OPTN). 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,” said Young.

“The management of the U.S. organ transplant system needed serious reform,” said Dr. Cassidy.  “Breaking up this monopoly increases competition and saves lives. Proud to see our legislation become law.”

The senators have worked extensively to improve the U.S. organ donation system, joining forces in 2020 to launch a Finance Committee investigation into the system’s failures. Their oversight efforts notched a major victory earlier this summer when Congress passed their legislation to reform management of the organ transplant system and improve patients’ access to lifesaving organ donations.