America's Blood Centers and its members work to protect the rights of donors, patients, community blood centers, and hospitals. We do this by helping to shape new laws, policies, and standards of care through:
- Grassroots advocacy at the local level
- Congressional advocacy in Washington, D.C.
- Coalition building with stakeholders on specific issues
- Ongoing coordination and cooperation with other blood organizations
- Tracking legislative issues of concern to blood centers
America's Blood Centers uses a combination of legislative advocacy and grassroots outreach to help its members strengthen local relationships with elected officials while forging a national identity for community blood centers.
2017 Advocacy Agenda
Value of Blood
America's Blood Centers (ABC) is North America's largest network of non-profit community blood centers. Our member blood centers collectively provide over half of the blood supply in the United States, operate more than 600 blood donation sites, produce over 12 million units of whole blood and blood components, and support over 3,500 hospitals and health care facilities. Blood is a regularly used to extend and improve the life of millions of patients each year through transfusion and treatment for medical conditions.
ABC member blood centers are driven by a profound commitment to safety and quality and work in a highly regulated arena. The altruistic gift of blood from millions of donors nationwide each year is unique within the healthcare sector and provides inherent challenges and opportunities. In addition to promoting a safe and robust blood supply, ABC members play a distinctive role in providing access to healthy donors and diverse populations for initiatives to advance population health throughout the country.
Sustainability of the U.S. Blood Supply
The current U.S. system for collection, processing and distribution of blood and blood components inadequately meets the need for sustainability, preparedness, and innovation. During the last decade, the blood community has become increasingly competitive due to decreased use and commoditization of blood with 58% of ABC centers currently facing negative margins. Equally concerning is the loss of the elasticity in the U.S. blood supply essential for large-scale disasters, infectious disease outbreaks and other non-status quo operations. According to the RAND Corporation, "the closure of blood centers for financial reasons-might result in undesirable consequences in the short term without policy intervention."
 Mulcahy, Andrew et al. Toward a Sustainable U.S. Blood Supply.RAND Corporation. (2016)
The current regulatory climate exacerbates the sustainability of the U.S. blood supply by imposing burdensome requirements that do not improve safety or quality. Without reform, community blood centers are restricted in using the precious gift of blood. Action should be taken to:
- Promote a rational, flexible approach to the regulation of plasma products;
- Finalize platelet bacterial contamination guidance to minimize burden while maintaining safety;
- Reevaluate Zika guidance by September 2017;
- Revise quality control options for platelets to assure safety and reduce burden to blood centers; and
- Ensure fair and consistent review of research applications by the FDA with the goal of reducing cycle times for product safety and quality innovations