Please enjoy our January 2013 print issue free of charge. Click the image to download a complete PDF file. We’ve also posted all this month’s articles on our News blog. It’s just a snapshot of some of the stories we reported in 2012. And it’s our way of saying welcome to our new way of bringing you a constant stream of information, now with more options for you to access our original content on the web. Subscribe today!
Introduction to Transplant News, Vol 23, No 1
Inability to get lifetime coverage for immunos; social media joining effort to increase donors tops 2012 news
by Jim Warren
Editor & Publisher
Like the past several years, 2012 was equally a mixture of good and not so good news in transplantation worldwide. Perhaps the most disheartening bad news was the failure once again of the US Congress to pass legislation providing unlimited coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients. This marks the seventh time Congress has not passed the measure which saves lives AND money. Roslyn Mannon, MD, president of the American Society of Transplantation, opined that the failure was due to “1. Political Sport. 2. Partisan Bickering. 3. Institutional Inactivity, and 4. Re-Election Jitters.” It’s getting more and more difficult to steal the mantra of all losing sports teams and shout “wait till next year.” Another major issue developing worldwide was a report by the International Consortium of Journalists that the demand for organs and tissues worldwide is increasing much faster than organs donated voluntarily can meet and the end result is leading to a spike in the number of people living in poverty offering to sell their organs on the black market.
In the good news category, the Chinese government finally announced it will phase out executing prisoners and procuring their kidneys to be transplanted; the social media joined the effort to increase organ and tissue donation with Facebook leading the way. The AMA House of Delegates recommended the US government remove all financial barriers for citizens to be living donors; transplant pioneers Thomas Starzl, MD, and Sir Roy Calne were among the winners of the 2012 Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation Awards; and two scientists—British researcher John Gurdon and Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka were selected to share the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine and two economists— Alvin Roth of Harvard University and Lloyd S. Shapley of the University of California at Los Angeles—received the 2012 Nobel Prize for developing “the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design” which the committee said led to nearly 2,000 kidney transplants in the US.