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Survey Finds Disconnect Between Number of Americans Willing to Donate Organs and Number Currently Registered as Donors
Findings are encouraging, however, as majority of respondents are generally knowledgeable about organ donation

NORTHBROOK, Ill., April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Astellas Pharma US, Inc. ("Astellas"), a U.S. subsidiary of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. (Tokyo: 4503), today announced results of a national survey which found that while 60 percent of respondents were familiar with their state organ donor registries and 57 percent would be willing to have their organs donated after they pass away, only 43 percent were actually registered as organ donors. Forty-eight percent indicated that they don't know how to register.

The 2013 "Save a Life Survey" was designed to determine public understanding of transplantation and uncover common misperceptions related to organ donation. Although 28 percent of respondents indicated no reason would stop them from registering as an organ donor, the top reason cited for not registering was the respondents' belief that they were not healthy enough (24 percent). In encouraging findings, respondents appeared to be generally knowledgeable about organ donation, as the majority disagreed with myths sometimes associated with donation: 73 percent disagreed with the statement that religion prohibited organ donation, and 55 percent disagreed with the statement that having an open casket funeral would be difficult should they donate their organs.

"We are very encouraged by the number of Americans who view organ donation positively and are willing to donate," said David Fleming, President and CEO, Donate Life America. "However, knowing that there are more than 115,000 people currently awaiting a transplant, we are committed to continuing our work to educate all Americans on the importance of registering in their state, ensuring they know how to register and encouraging them to discuss their wishes to become an organ donor with their families."

Other survey findings include:

  • Many would be living organ donors: Nearly half (49 percent) indicated they would be willing to be a living donor to a friend or family member in need of a transplant.
  • Respondents are well aware of the vast need for donors: Eighty percent of respondents agree that the number of people awaiting transplants is higher than the number of organs and tissue actually available.
  • Knowing someone awaiting a transplant is a strong motivator for deciding to register: Respondents indicate that hearing about organ donation from someone currently waiting for a transplant or from the family of a person who passed away while waiting for a transplant would have the most impact on their likelihood to register to become an organ donor. Hearing about organ donation from faith leaders and teachers would have the least impact on their decision.

"As a leader in transplantation and immunology for the past two decades, Astellas is committed to furthering understanding of organ donation and transplantation in the U.S.," said Richard Miller, Vice President, Strategic Relations, Astellas Pharma US, Inc. "Our goal in issuing these survey findings in celebration of Organ Donation Awareness Month this April is to help increase awareness of the importance of organ donation and encourage more people to take the easy steps to register as organ donors."

For more information on Organ Donation Awareness Month and to learn how to register as a donor, visit

About the Survey

The study was conducted through Directions Research, Inc., on behalf of Astellas, using online self-administered surveys with an average length of nine minutes. Surveys were collected over five days, from Thursday, Feb. 28 to Monday March 4, 2013. A total of 1,010 completed surveys were collected. Respondents were required to be at least 18 years of age to complete the survey. Age and gender quotas were set in order for the survey sample to more closely mirror the overall population. Respondents were recruited from consumer panels, pre-recruited groups of people that are both interested in and willing to participate in marketing research.

About Astellas

Astellas is a recognized leader in transplantation and has been committed to the field of immunology for more than 20 years. Dedicated to supporting the advancement of care for patients, Astellas continues to build upon its legacy and leadership in transplantation by investing in ongoing clinical research and new product development.

Astellas Pharma US, Inc., located in Northbrook, Illinois, is a US affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The organization is committed to becoming a global category leader in focused areas by combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities. For more information about Astellas Pharma US, Inc., please visit our website at


SOURCE Astellas Pharma US, Inc.

For further information: Jenny M. Kite, Astellas, (847) 682-4530 cell,; Anne Maselli, Edelman, (312) 297-6979 office, (708) 790-3135 cell,