Join me tonight for a Bioethx chat on reverse transplant tourism, where I will put my twitter skills (such as they are) to the test.
Via Al Roth comes news of a detailed article in yesterday’s Toledo Blade about the first Reverse Transplant Tourism surgery that I blogged about the other day.
From the news article:
Dr. Rees calls his new program reverse-transplant tourism.
A husband and wife from the Philippines, Jose and Kristine Mamaril, are the first participants to benefit from this innovative system that allowed Mr. Mamaril to receive a life-saving transplant in Toledo from an American donor in Georgia. His wife, who has a coveted blood type, reciprocated by donating a kidney to a man in Minnesota who previously would have had to wait years for a match.
. . .
“In rich countries there’s not enough kidneys for people who have kidney failure, but there is plenty of money to pay for all the transplants. In poor countries, there’s lots of people that need kidney transplants and lots of available donors, but in poor countries they don’t have enough money,” Dr. Rees said.
This new program breaks down some of those barriers and helps bring people with the universal Type O blood into the U.S donor system, while helping someone from another country get access to free medical care.
One year of a kidney patient’s dialysis costs Medicare about $90,000, or nearly triple the $33,000 cost of a kidney transplant, Dr. Rees said. He argues his donor-matching system will ultimately save the federal government and private insurers money because it moves patients with kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease, off dialysis sooner.
You can download our recently published article on Reverse Transplant Tourism here.
You can also read my prior posts about RTT:
Regular readers will recall that I’ve blogged here before about Reverse Transplant Tourism (RTT), a new form of cross border kidney paired donation that Mike Rees and I propose in a recently published article. RTT leverages the substantial cost savings of transplantation over dialysis to pay for immunosuppressant drugs for a foreign recipient, in exchange for an agreement to enter into a kidney swap or NEAD (non-simultaneous, extended, altruistic donor) chain. The transaction is fairly complex, but I give a reasonably short and easy to understand summary in the posts linked below if you want a better understanding of RTT and its benefits.
Well, I am pleased to report that the first RTT took place in a series of transplants arranged by Mike Rees here in the US and Don Paloyo in the Philippines!
You can watch the video about Jose and Kristine below:
I can attest from first hand observation that this first RTT had to overcome major hurdles before getting off the ground. Dozens of folks dedicated time, money, and expertise to make it happen. But as we state in our paper, and Mike reiterates in the video, RTT cannot survive on philanthropy alone. In order to be sustainable, the insurance companies and (eventually) Medicare – who save thousands of dollars from each RTT transplant – have to fund RTT and other transplant innovations in order to really make a dent in the ever-growing waitlist.
HT: Al Roth for the video
You can also read my prior posts about RTT here:
And you can download the article here.
Yesterday, as expected, the US District Court for the Northern District of California certified a class of human egg donors in Kamakahi v. ASRM on the question of whether an agreement among members of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine to cap compensation to those donors violated the Sherman Act. The Court declined to certify the class on the issue of damages, reserving the question of how to determine that issue until after adjudication on the antitrust violation.
From the Order:
The class defined as follows is certified to determine whether the Guidelines‘ restriction of “appropriate” compensation to $5,000, or $10,000 with justification, violates the Sherman Act, with the method of adjudicating damages and injury-in-fact to be determined if Plaintiffs prevail in showing a Sherman Act violation:
All women who sold human egg donor services for the purpose of supplying human eggs to be used for assisted fertility and reproductive purposes (“AR Eggs”) within the United States and its territories at any time during the time period from April 12, 2007 to the present (the “Class Period”) to or through:
any clinic that was, at the time of the donation, a member of Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (“SART”) and thereby agreed to follow the Maximum Price Rules (as that term is defined in Plaintiffs‘ Consolidated Amended Complaint) set forth by SART and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (“ASRM”); and/or
any AR Egg Agency that was, at the time of the donation, agreeing to follow the Maximum Price Rules.
The Court’s order is available online here: Kamakahi classcert
- Sunny Samaritans’ Suit Survives
- ASRM Seeks Dismissal of Egg Donor Suit
- Kamakahi v. ASRM et al. — Updates
- Politics And Profits in The Egg Business (When Sunny Samaritans Sue, IV)
- When Sunny Samaritans Sue, Part III
- When Sunny Samaritans Sue, Continued
- When Sunny Samaritans Sue
- The Value of Smart Eggs