Washington DC --
February 14, 2011
The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a leader in marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation and entrusted by the U.S. government to operate the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program (Program), applauds President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal which increases its funding for the Program and National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI). These funds are critically important to the continued growth of the national registry of adult marrow donors and cord blood units. Congress unanimously reauthorized both the Program and NCBI last year.
This news is especially encouraging for the 10,000 people in need of an unrelated marrow or cord blood transplant in the United States each year. Federal support for marrow and cord blood donation and research is essential to increasing patient access to transplants.
NMDP’s funding has remained relatively flat for the past 10 years; the organization is fiscally responsible and has served as a good steward of the funding Congress has provided. At current funding levels, NMDP has increased the number of transplants each year to 5,200 transplants annually, but this addresses only approximately half of the annual need in the United States. Increased funding levels will enable NMPD to further recruitment activities to grow the Be The Match Registry®, the national registry, and increase the number of transplants performed each year.
The Be The Match Registry® provides a single-point-of-access to more than 9 million potential marrow donors and more than 185,000 cord blood units, including more than 37,000 units funded through the NCBI, resulting in the NMDP facilitating more than 43,000 transplants since its inception in 1987.
Success of the Program and NCBI
The Program and NCBI continue to receive an overall above-average rating by the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) goals. This is a result of NMDP setting – and achieving – ambitious goals, and operating as a well-managed organization. NMDP has met or exceeded its PART goals, including:
- Increasing the number of transplants
- Improving patient outcomes one-year after transplant
- Increasing the number of cord blood units on the registry
- Adding more than 2 million minority volunteer donors on the registry to date
- In the last five years, decreasing the per-unit cost of donor typing
NMDP requests that Congress support President Obama’s proposal to increase funding levels – a vital measure to protect the years of progress in advancing scientific results in the field. Adequately funding the Program and NCBI saves lives and will enable NMDP to increase unrelated marrow and cord blood transplants in the United States.