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The US is not yet on track to reach the goal of providing hair transplanted in all countries by 2020, a top US health official told The Wall St. Journal on Tuesday.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the number of transplants has fallen dramatically in the last three years, as the need for transplants in developing countries has grown.
In the US, the number fell from more than 1,000 transplants a day in 2015 to just 500 in 2016, according to the report, the first from the CDC since the disease has been identified in humans.
It is the latest blow to a nascent hair transplant industry, which has been under fire from some experts who believe it could be a boon for the wealthy.
“We are seeing the decline in demand from wealthy individuals,” said David Shostak, director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
“It is also impacting the demand from lower-income individuals and families.”
The FDA will determine whether to approve a transplant in the US in the coming months.
The CDC also noted that in many places in the world, the cost of a hair transplant is significantly lower than it is in the United States.
“There are no barriers to importing transplants, and people who are willing to pay the extra money can access transplants abroad,” said Shostar.