Bill 204 openly advertises the sale of blood in Alberta
On July 8, 2020 MLA Tany Yao introduced Bill 204: Voluntary Blood Donations Repeal Act. This work-shy, mere 3-page bill simply calls for the repeal of the Voluntary Blood Donations Act (2017). It offers no alternative to address our current dependency on US plasma-derived products, and no reason to necessitate this repeal, except to further this government’s never ending quest to privatize our public resources.
- The plasma CBS collects is used for two main purposes:
1. Transfusion: Plasma administered in hospital to treat patients with bleeding disorders, trauma and other afflictions. CBS collects enough plasma to address all the transfusion to meet the needs of all those patients.
2. Fractionation: The use of plasma as a raw material in the production of plasma protein products (PPP), in which large volumes of donated plasma are processed into small amounts of finished pharmaceutical products. Private blood brokers have been eagerly awaiting their opportunity to benefit from the veins of Canadians and grow their PPP market.
- Private plasma collectors operating in this country do not secure the supply chain for Canadians. In May 2019, CBS CEO Dr. Graham Sher spoke at the Canadian Senate and said, “Most significantly for Canada, ceding control of donated plasma to commercial for-profit businesses does not mitigate the domestic security of supply concern. The vast majority of the world’s plasma collection is vertically integrated with the fractionation industry. It serves a global supply chain and does not ensure domestic security of supply”
- Private blood brokers make their profit on the international market, where they compete to sell their plasma to the highest bidder. In contrast, every single collection within our publicly funded blood system is guaranteed to go to Canadians patients.
- Blood brokers pull donors from the public system, which ultimately results in the depletion of our supply chain for both whole blood and plasma.
- Currently, Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) – the company that attempted to set up shop in Alberta prior to 2017 – sells their plasma to Biotest AG, a global pharmaceutical company which is owned by a Chinese investment firm. If CPR is allowed to open in Alberta, we will be selling the security of our Canadian supply chain on the global market.
- The US can export plasma because they are self-sufficient and have a surplus – Canada does not. Our governments should focus on supporting CBS in expanding non-remunerated plasma collection to achieve self-sufficiency in our province and country.
- CBS is currently moving forward with a domestic plasma strategy – including the creation of a new plasma collection center in Lethbridge, set to open this fall. Any steps to undermine CBS’ plan by approving competitive collectors will threaten the future of Canada’s supply chain.