Biden expected to sign bill to overhaul organ transplant system

Congress has passed a bill that would break up the monopoly contract used to run the nation's organ transplant system. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden's desk, who is expected to sign it, The Washington Post reported July 28. 

The United Network for Organ Sharing has held the federal contract to manage the nation's transplant system since 1986. On July 28, the Senate unanimously voted on a bill that would, in effect, break up the monopoly contract and allow other groups to bid on contracts to manage the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. The House approved the same measure a few days earlier. 

If the legislation is signed, UNOS' oversight would largely be broken up, with new contractors taking over responsibilities such as setting policy and operating the system's complex technology.

UNOS is a nonprofit organization that has come under fire over the years for outdated software and poor oversight that has led to underuse of procured organs. While a record-breaking number of transplants were performed last year, reports have indicated many more could have been performed if the system ran more smoothly.

In a statement shared with the Post, UNOS did not oppose the legislation and said it is "committed to modernizing and reforming the nation's organ donation and transplant system and working with Congress to achieve measurable results for patients." 

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