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Blood Safety Recommendations - November 1998

DATE: November 30, 1998

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Stephen D. Nightingale, M.D., Executive Secretary
Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability

SUBJECT: November 24, 1998 Recommendations of the Advisory Committee

1. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should recommend legislation that would lower barriers to the use of federal data bases for locating individuals at risk of hepatitis C infection.

2. The Department of Health and Human Services should allocate sufficient additional resources to permit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work with state and local health departments to facilitate education, testing, and referral programs for individuals at risk of hepatitis C infection.

3. The Department of Health and Human Services should investigate supplemental sources of financial support to facilitate prompt completion of targeted lookback for individuals at risk of transfusion-transmitted hepatitis C infection.

4. The Health Care Financing Administration should remove financial barriers to testing of individuals identified by current government standards as being at risk of hepatitis C infection.

5. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should take all necessary steps to insure completion of current lookback programs within currently recommended time frames.

6. The Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability supports Recommendation 1A and 3 of the Seventh Report of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.

7. The current targeted lookback program should be expanded to include recipients of blood from donors subsequently identified as repeat reactive by the single antigen (EIA-1) screening test for hepatitis C infection that was licensed in 1990.

8.Implementation of the prior motion should be deferred until the Public Health Service has had an opportunity to review it and to present options for its implementation and evaluation to the Advisory Committee at its next meeting.

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