Many Tissue Banks Not Inspected, HHS Report Finds
An HHS report issued Friday states that many U.S. tissue banks have "never been inspected by federal authorities, leaving tissue recipients potentially vulnerable to infection from HIV, hepatitis and other pathogens," Reuters Health reports. HHS investigators wrote, "One in every five tissue banks has never been inspected," noting that only two states -- Florida and New York -- currently mandate regular safety inspections. In addition, the report said, when inspections do occur, the FDA has found "serious deficiencies in tissue banks' screening and testing practices." According to Reuters Health, reports of "serious oversights" in tissue bank inspections helped "spur" the government investigation. Based on report findings, HHS is recommending that the FDA "speed up issuance" of new rules for inspection of all U.S. tissue banks. In a second report, HHS officials urge that donors and their families receive more information about how donated tissues and organs are eventually used, and who profits from them (Reuters Health, 1/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.