America’s Blood Centers (ABC) has provided comments regarding surge capacity recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability (ACBTSA). In the comments, ABC expressed that it is, “extremely supportive of the recommendations of the Committee to address surge capacity for blood and blood products.”
Specifically in the comments regarding surge capacity recommendations, ABC explained that, “[we] support the Zika payment model but encourages expansion of the model to:
- ensure blood establishments are not collecting blood at risk; and
- establish funding for local public awareness about the need for blood donors.”
The comments regarding surge capacity recommendations also noted that while ABC supports federal public awareness campaigns, “we believe the best use of any future federal funding for public awareness for blood donation is best directed locally. [F]unding for local awareness distributed directly to blood centers as part of an Other Transaction Agreement between the U.S. government and ABC during COVID-19 resulted in a 244 percent increase in collections. It is essential that the U.S. government invest in local funding for blood establishments to use in increasing awareness of blood donation, especially among diverse, young, and newly eligible individuals. ABC recommends that the Committee emphasize the need to provide funding for public awareness campaigns at the local level.”
Additionally, ABC asked the ACBTSA in the comments regarding surge capacity recommendations:
- “to work with its partners at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to pre-establish additional regulatory flexibility that would be granted in case of short or long-term surge capacity needs to extend the U.S. blood supply without impacting the safety, purity, or potency of blood donations;”
- to establish a baseline inventory of blood;
- to model of unprecedented emergency scenarios; and
- to establish funding for a sustained increase in blood inventories.
ABC previously submitted comments to the ACBTSA ahead of its July 2023 meeting.