SPONSORED:

House Democrats urge FDA to revise policy limiting gay, bisexual men from donating plasma

House Democrats urge FDA to revise policy limiting gay, bisexual men from donating plasma
© Getty Images

Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee are urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to lift restrictions barring gay and bisexual men who have recovered from the coronavirus from donating plasma for research.

The Democrats wrote a letter Thursday to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn arguing that keeping men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating plasma undermines efforts to find a treatment for COVID-19.

“There is no scientific justification for denying MSM who have recovered from coronavirus the opportunity to safely donate plasma. Yet, gay and bisexual men who have recovered from coronavirus and attempted to donate have been turned away in accordance with FDA’s blanket deferral recommendation,” Democrats wrote in the letter

ADVERTISEMENT

“To ensure that efforts to develop an effective coronavirus treatment can proceed unhindered, we urge FDA to immediately modify its deferral recommendations so that all gay and bisexual men who have recovered from coronavirus and can safely donate plasma to support treatment research efforts are able to do so,” they added. 

The letter was sent by Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyTrump, House lawyers return to court in fight over subpoena for financial records Safeguarding US elections by sanctioning Russian sovereign debt Fears grow of voter suppression in Texas MORE (D-N.Y.), Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinCongress must repeal tax breaks for the wealthy passed in CARES Act COVID-19 and the problem of presidential succession Warren, Porter to headline progressive fundraiser supporting seven swing state candidates MORE (D-Md.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Scaramucci says Trump has united country: 'It just happens to be against him' CNN won't run pro-Trump ad warning Biden will raise taxes on middle class MORE (D-N.Y.), Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Rep. Deb HaalandDebra HaalandHispanic caucus report takes stock of accomplishments with eye toward 2021 Rep. Robin Kelly enters race for Democratic caucus vice chair OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push resolution to battle climate change, sluggish economy and racial injustice | Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling energy bill | Trump courts Florida voters with offshore drilling moratorium MORE (D-N.M.). 

An FDA official was not immediately available for comment. 

The FDA revised guidelines last month recommending a three-month deferral for men who have sex with men from donating blood, shortening the previous policy which called for a full year ban. 

In their letter, the Democrats said shortening the deferral period was “a good first step,” but said the FDA’s policy “continues to exclude gay and bisexual men who can safely donate blood and blood products.”