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LHHS funding levels protect vital support for programs that offer access to life-saving transplant for Americans with blood cancer
-- July 20 2017
MINNEAPOLIS—National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®, which operates the nation’s Be The Match Registry® of potential adult volunteer marrow donors and donated umbilical cord blood units, today applauded the House Appropriations Committee’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) funding bill, which maintains funding levels from FY 2017 for the NMDP/Be The Match and the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI). The bill maintains funding for the NMDP/Be The Match, which would have otherwise received a small cut under the President’s budget. Importantly, it also maintains the increase in funding the Congress provided in FY 2017 for the NCBI, which is also above the Administration’s request.
Specifically, NMDP/Be The Match commended Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) for their leadership in ensuring funding levels were sustained to protect access to marrow and cord blood transplant for Americans diagnosed with blood cancers and other blood disorders, as well as the efforts of full Committee Chairman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY).
“We are pleased that the Committee maintained funding levels for the nation’s bone marrow registry and cord blood collection and maintenance program for 2018, which will help to support access to life-saving transplant for more Americans,” said Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., Chief Executive Officer Emeritus of NMDP/Be The Match. “Specifically, we applaud the Committee for adding more than $1 million to the President’s request for NCBI to maintain funding levels, which were increased last year to allow for expanded collection of potential umbilical cord blood matches.”
According to estimates, for every $1 million in additional funding for the NCBI, 667 new cord blood units are added to the registry. For each $1 million the Congress adds to the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program’s funding, an estimated 10,000 new donors can be added to the registry, which could result in many more donor matches and lives saved.
In approving the legislation, the Committee expressed in the report accompanying the bill its continuing support for “cell transplantation through the use of cord blood, bone marrow, and peripheral blood stem cells. The Committee appreciates HRSA’s efforts to increase the diversity of the volunteer registry and the program’s research efforts to improve the availability, efficiency, safety, and cost of transplants and the effectiveness of program operations.”
“At a time when we are seeing so many cuts to other national healthcare programs, we are especially thankful to the committee for recognizing the important role NMDP/Be The Match has in supporting life-saving transplant and maintaining our funding levels for the coming year,” Chell added.
About National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®
National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match is the global leader in providing a cure to patients with life-threatening blood and marrow cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, as well as other diseases. The nonprofit organization manages the world’s largest registry of potential marrow donors and cord blood units, connects patients to their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant, educates health care professionals and conducts research through its research program, CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), so more lives can be saved. NMDP/Be The Match also provides patient support and enlists the community to join the Be The Match Registry®, contribute financially and volunteer.
To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.