Liberal MPP Bill Mauro introduced a 2,000-signature petition into the Ontario legislature today calling upon the government to use its influence to reopen the Canadian Blood Services Thunder Bay Plasma Donor Clinic.
The clinic closed its doors back in April after CBS claimed it had an oversupply of plasma for transfusion.
In fact, Thunder Bay had also been a contributor to a high-demand plasma product called intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). Canada is amongst the highest users of IVIG in the world.
CBS has decided to abandon its goal of increasing the Canadian content in this product, which is processed in the United States.
While CBS was shutting down its own plasma collection site, OPSEU learned of two private for-profit companies that were setting up plasma donation centers in Toronto and Hamilton.
While CBS says it has no relationship with these companies, it is likely both will be selling the collected plasma to the same U.S. fractionators that CBS relies upon for IVIG.
The private for-profit companies are paying for donations of plasma despite World Health Organization warnings against such practices. Paying for plasma and blood donation encourages desperate donors to be less than truthful in the screening process.
The petition also calls upon the government to pursue the goal of increasing Canadian content in this product. A similar petition is also in circulation aimed at the federal government.