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Donor Deferral Policy Change and National Blood Monitoring System Established

December 23, 2014
Donor Deferral Policy Change and National Blood Monitoring System Established

New York, NY - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today that it is revising the current blood donor deferral policy for men who have sex with men (MSM) from a lifetime ban to a one-year deferral and implementing a national blood surveillance monitoring system.

“The policy announced today reflects a balance of respecting donors and protecting patients,” said Val D. Bias, Chief Executive Officer of the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF).

The FDA announcement includes plans for implementation of a national blood surveillance system that will help the agency monitor the effect of a policy change and further help to ensure the continued safety of the blood supply. “Donor screening, donor deferral and donor testing measures alone are inadequate solutions to the complex problems of blood safety. This new blood safety monitoring system will also provide an important scientific foundation for consideration of any future revisions to blood safety policies,” stated Bias.

NHF’s position has been that complex blood safety policies should be based on science. NHF has recognized that the existing MSM deferral policy has been suboptimal and fully supports the adoption of donor deferral policies that are less discriminatory as long as the overall risk to end users is not elevated.


About NHF

The National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) is dedicated to finding better treatments and cures for inheritable bleeding disorders and to preventing the complications of these disorders through education, advocacy and research. Established in 1948, the National Hemophilia Foundation has chapters throughout the country.



John Indence

Vice President Marketing and Communications

National Hemophilia Foundation