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Covington Helps Whitman-Walker Health Achieve Revised FDA Blood Donor Deferral Recommendations

April 2, 2020

On April 2, 2020, the FDA announced revisions to its blood donor recommendations, which reflect changes advocated for by Whitman-Walker Health (WWH) with help from Covington’s Food, Drug and Device practice.

Since 2014, Covington has worked closely with WWH to advocate for changes to the FDA blood donation recommendations for the men who have sex with men (MSM) community. Over this time, WWH contributed substantially to FDA’s analysis of the MSM blood donation recommendations, submitting numerous rounds of public comments and speaking before the FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee.

In April, FDA shortened its recommended deferral period for blood donated by the MSM community from 12 months to 3 months. Since Covington’s involvement, the FDA moved from an indefinite deferral (established in 1992) to a 12-month deferral (December 2015) to the current 3-month deferral.

While Covington and WWH will continue to work together to advocate for an individual risk assessment model instead of time-based deferral recommendations, we are pleased to celebrate this important step in the right direction.

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