Friday, July 12, 2019

Peter Jaworski on paid and unpaid plasma donation in Canada

Peter Jaworski in the Globe and Mail:
There’s a way to avoid blood plasma shortages: pay donors

and on the radio in Calgary (it isn't Peter in the picture:)

Some quotes from the Globe and Mail article:
" Canada collects only about 17 per cent of the plasma necessary to meet domestic demand for immune globulin. Paid donors in the United States are how we meet (and exceed) our country’s demand."

"Only countries that pay donors are self-sufficient in plasma. The rest have to import it from countries that pay. Paid donors in the United States are responsible for more than 60 per cent of the entire world’s plasma used to make plasma medicine."

"In terms of safety, a Health Canada Expert Panel report from May of last year noted that paid plasma is not less safe than unpaid plasma and it is less expensive than trying to recruit and retain unpaid donors. Paying donors is also the most likely way of ensuring security of supply. Paid donations having a negative effect on unpaid blood donations is also unlikely. The United States has more than 800 paid plasma centres, and still has higher blood donation rates than Canada."

"Claims that paid plasma exploits the poor are also mistaken. Pay is about $30 an hour in Canada (it takes 1.5 hours to donate plasma), and represents about 30 per cent of the total revenue from a litre of plasma (a much larger share than profits, which are less than 3 per cent of revenue). That’s a fair deal."

"Opponents also like to point out that plasma collected in the paid plasma centres in Canada is exported, with none of it staying in Canada. That’s true, but it’s true because Canadian Blood Services choose not to buy Canadian plasma in spite of its lower price and domestic origins."

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