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CHS Policy on Paid Plasma Donations

The Canadian Hemophilia Society (CHS) Policy on Paid Plasma Donations was approved by the CHS Board of Directors on May 26, 2013, and is an addition to the complete CHS Policy on Blood, Blood Products and their Alternatives adopted in 2002 and reviewed annually.

Policy on Paid Plasma Donations


Other links:

2011 Dublin Consensus

Click here to get the perspective of Canadian Blood Services.

Health Canada Fact Sheet on Plasma Donation in Canada

Resolution of the WFH General Assembly on the Supply of Safe High-Quality Clotting Factor Concentrates

Products from paid plasma donations considered safe by blood system regulators around the world

The Ontario government announced its intention of introducing a legislation to prohibit payment for plasma (http://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2014/03/preserving-ontarios-voluntary-blood-donation-system.html).

The CHS wishes to highlight some very important facts regarding paid plasma donations and the Ontario government decision.

  1. A key concern is that many people with bleeding disorders receive plasma-derived products from paid U.S. donors. These include deficiencies in factors I, II, V, VII, IX, X, XI and XIII. Some people with VWD receive plasma-derived products from paid U.S. donors. People with inhibitors often receive plasma-derived products from paid U.S. donors. This decision must not be seen as a message that these products are less safe. While the Ontario Government statement does not expressly say that paid plasma donations are less safe, one can easily come to this conclusion as little other rationale is provided for the decision. Products from paid plasma donors are considered safe by blood system regulators around the world.
  2. Thousands of other Canadians rely on products from paid plasma donors for their health and their lives.
  3. The CHS sees the decision by the Government of Ontario not to allow these centres to open to be a reaction to public opinion, not a decision based on science or ethics. Over the last 20 years, the plasma industry has developed well-documented and effective procedures to ensure that plasma can be collected safely, both for the donors and the recipients.
  4. Not allowing paid plasma donations in Ontario will have no impact on the products Canadian patients receive. Canadian patients will continue to receive products that for the most part are manufactured from plasma from paid U.S. donors. Only 3 of the some 30 plasma-derived products used by Canadians are manufactured, in whole or in part, from plasma collected from unpaid donors by Canadian Blood Services (CBS) and Héma-Québec. The decision does mean, however, that Canada will not contribute to the world supply of essential plasma proteins; global over-reliance on the U.S. as the main source for this material will continue.
  5. The CHS understands the negative reactions many people have to paying for plasma. Plasma from paid donors, at a time in the 1970s and 1980s when quality and safety measures were sorely lacking, played an important role in Canada’s tainted blood tragedy. The location of at least one of the centres very close to vulnerable populations did nothing to allay these fears.
  6. Meanwhile, the CHS will continue to work with CBS and Héma-Québec to encourage blood and plasma donation from unpaid donors, and to make the most complete use of all components. An example of this is the September 2013 announcement of Project Recovery, which turns surplus factor VIII proteins in Canadian plasma collected by CBS into life-saving medicines for hemophilia patients in the developing world.