WASHINGTON - The United Network for Organ Sharing has again been awarded the contract to run the nation's organ transplant system, ending the two-year dispute over organ distribution. The three-year contract requires that the network distribute organs across broad geographic areas to the sickest patients first.
The contract will not give complete authority to the organ-sharing network. The network, which has run the transplant system since the mid-80's, will continue to maintain the list of patients who are waiting for new organs and will run the computer system that matches waiting patients with donated organs. However, federal health officials have selected another organization, the University Renal Research and Education Association, to run the scientific registry that examines how transplant patients fare and how changes in organ distribution policy affect them. For more information visit www.os.dhhs.gov.