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Statement from Canadian Blood Services: pay for plasma

Date: February 25, 2013

All plasma that Canadian Blood Services collects in Canada is used in Canada and all plasma for transfusion comes from volunteer Canadian donors.

On behalf of Canadian hospitals, we bulk buy pharmaceutical products from the US and Europe that are made from plasma (plasma protein products such as albumin and IVIG). These products are made from a few plasma sources: a) volunteer donors in Canada, b) volunteer donors in the US, and c) paid donors in the US.

This is not new and has been a common practice for decades. It is safe, it reduces health care costs, and is acceptable to patient groups who use these products and recognize this practice ensures security of supply (as stated in the Dublin Consensus statement

Canada, the United States and Europe have strict standards in collecting plasma and manufacturing it into pharmaceutical products. That means all donors must meet specific criteria to be eligible, and their donations are thoroughly tested. In addition, manufacturers use technology that wipes out viruses as an added safeguard for patients. Most of the products we buy are sold worldwide and are subject to regulation and licensing in multiple countries, including Canada.

We are confident that there are enough Canadians who want to give blood, plasma and platelets for altruistic reasons, rather than for payment or incentives to meet the needs of our voluntary system.

Canadian Blood Services has no plans to purchase plasma from the new Toronto operation.

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