BONE MARROW BOOKS 2019


Trump Administration Grants Waiver of European Travel Ban to Be The Match to Continue Delivering Life-Saving Bone Marrow to U.S. Patients

Amid the stringent travel bans the United States and European Union governments have enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19, there are some critical exceptions that need to be made, in order to save lives.

National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match®, the global leader in unrelated bone marrow transplantation, secured a waiver on the travel ban for couriers coming into the U.S. from Europe. The waiver, issued by Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, allows couriers to transport life-saving bone marrow from donors to patients. It is critical patients receive their life-saving cells without delay. Before their transplant, the patient’s immune system is weakened by high doses of chemotherapy, which means that the healthy donor cells are their only chance for survival

NMDP/Be The Match worked with Vice President Mike Pence, the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department to get this exception to the European travel ban so that patients in the U.S. could receive the bone marrow transplants they need. NMDP is continually monitoring domestic and international travel restrictions in an attempt to ensure all patients who are scheduled to receive a transplant receive life-saving bone marrow during this uncertain time.

“With the uncertainties each of us face during these unprecedented times, the needs of our patients remain starkly the same. For those awaiting bone marrow transplant, their very survival depends on the life-saving cells delivered to them by our couriers. We are grateful to the administration for acting to ensure that the travel ban does not interrupt or delay the urgent transplant each of those patients desperately need, as we are likewise grateful to those who have so swiftly and actively advocated on those patients’ behalf,” said NMDP/Be The Match Chief Policy Officer Brian Lindberg. “With the uncertainties each of us face during these unprecedented times, the needs of our patients remain starkly the same. For those awaiting bone marrow transplant, their very survival depends on the life-saving cells delivered to them by our couriers. We are grateful to the administration for acting to ensure that the travel ban does not interrupt or delay the urgent transplant each of those patients desperately need, as we are likewise grateful to those who have so swiftly and actively advocated on those patients’ behalf,” said NMDP/Be The Match Chief Policy Officer Brian Lindberg.

NMDP/Be The Match has facilitated over 100,000 bone marrow transplants since 1987 to deliver cures for patients battling blood cancers and blood disorders. More than 50 percent of those transplants involve international donors or recipients.

About Be The Match®

For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry®, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.

Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, 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. To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.


Be The Match Statement Regarding COVID-19

At Be The Match, we believe there are unplanned moments in life that allow each of us to look deep within ourselves and act on our individual capability to provide exactly what’s needed at the time to give more life to others. In fact, that foundational belief drives the core of our mission: We save lives through cellular therapy.

Because even when life seems uncertain, we have the power to act and provide life-saving solutions. Together.

As you’re a part of this special community of people providing solutions for patients with blood disease and blood cancer, we want to let you know what Be The Match is doing to act in this time of uncertainty.

First, we’re closely monitoring the progression of worldwide activity surrounding SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. We have teams meeting multiple times daily to understand the latest updates so we can best support our community of patients, providers, donors, contributors and employees during this time. We’re committed to wasting no moment in our efforts to democratize cell therapy and provide equal outcomes for all patients.

As a precautionary measure to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees, we’ve mandated a work-from-home policy for our Minneapolis Coordinating Center. This approach is focused on the hundreds of employees who arrive at the Coordinating Center every day to provide life-saving solutions to patients in need.

Be The Match is also working with patients and transplant centers to understand how we can best serve their needs during this unique time. Many patients are immuno-suppressed and need your support now more than ever. Here are three easy ways you can be a part of this life saving work today:

Understand the latest COVID-19 information, so you can continue to play an active role in helping others. We’ve found the CDC Guidelines and Harvard Resource Center to be very useful locations for information.

For those of you who are between the ages of 18 and 44, make sure you’re a part of the Be The Match Registry. If you haven’t already, sign up today.

As travel is re-routed for donors who continue providing stem cell donations for patients about to receive a stem cell transplant, costs are rising. You can provide financial assistance to help with these rising costs here.

Finally, thank you for being a part of this life saving work. Patients continue to wake up and wonder, ‘What’s going to happen to me?’ Be The Match firmly believes we each have a unique capability to act – and we were made for this moment.

If you have additional questions, click here to view our FAQ page.

About Be The Match®

For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry®, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.

Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, 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. To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.





National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match Applauds Congress for its Support of Patients with Blood Cancers and Other Diseases

Bipartisan legislation provides record funding for lifesaving cellular transplants and eliminates a Medicare payment barrier for seniors

National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match® applauds Congress for passing bipartisan legislation that provides record levels of funding to increase access for patients to cellular transplants, which can be the only curative treatments for blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma and other blood diseases. The bill also increases access to these same therapies for senior citizens by fixing a Medicare reimbursement issue that can be a barrier for them to these life-saving procedures.

“Increasing funding levels for these programs and bringing Medicare payment policies for these procedures up to date represents major victories for the 1.3 million Americans fighting blood cancers,” said Brian Lindberg, Chief Policy Officer of NMDP/Be The Match. “By increasing funding for life-saving cellular transplants and removing Medicare barriers that inhibit access to care, Congress has given hope to patients in need of these curative treatments.”

“We are honored to have broad support from members in the House and Senate who stand with us and our mission to find matched donors for every patient in need of these cellular therapies,” Lindberg added. “Increasing patient access to life-saving bone marrow and cord blood transplant is NMDP/Be The Match’s top priority.”

The program works closely with organizations throughout the nation to recruit volunteer donors for the registry and with public and private insurers to ensure that all patients have equal access to treatment.

The $30 million included in the final legislation for the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program, an increase of $5.4 million over last year, and the $17.3 million for the National Cord Blood Inventory, an increase of $1.0 million, will help reduce barriers to transplant by:

Advancing new and innovative methods of providing the best possible transplant to every patient in need, regardless of socioeconomic status, age, ethnic ancestry, or any other individually defining characteristic;

Continuing to simplify processes and systems to reduce time to transplant, providing the patient and their physician the therapy the patient needs exactly when he/she needs it; and

Protecting access to transplant by allowing NMDP to pursue our vision of achieving equal outcomes for all.

In the case of older Americans, inadequate Medicare transplant reimbursement, primarily for donor-related costs, poses a significant barrier to patient access.

Unlike Medicare payment policies for the acquisition of solid organs for transplant, Medicare does not provide separate payments for the cost of acquiring the cells for transplant (which can include the cost of identifying genetically matched donors, collecting the cells, and transporting them to the transplant hospital). As a result, hospitals take substantial financial losses on these life-saving procedures, which often require a 20-to-30-day hospital stay on average, because the reimbursement rate does not come close to covering the true costs of treatment.

NMDP/Be The Match looks forward to working closely with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which operates the Medicare program, to ensure that this critical payment reform is implemented as quickly as possible, so that Medicare beneficiaries are not at risk of being denied the bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cell, or cord blood transplant they need to survive.

About National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match

For people with life-threatening blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, a cure exists. National Marrow Donor Program(NMDP)/Be The Match connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant and works to identify and eliminate financial and other barriers faced by these patients. NMDP also provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.




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