Heavens – even Russia is more sensible than Canada when it comes to paid blood donations.
As Health Canada takes a pause and organizes a roundtable on the issue in Toronto next week (of which we weren’t invited), Russia is now prohibiting paid donation except in cases where rare components and blood groups are being donated.
In Canada the issue has come to a boil within the last six weeks after the media discovered Toronto was about to get two private for-profit plasma donation centers that intended to pay $20 per donation. A third is also planned for Hamilton. This is clearly a major shift in how we handle blood donations in Canada, and there had been precisely no debate (beyond the confines of our little BLOG). It also runs counter to the recommendations of both Canada’s own Krever Inquiry and that of the World Health Organization.
Having been at the center of this debate for the past year, you might say we are a little miffed to be sidelined on this. For Health Canada, us unions can wait and make our submissions at a later date.
Of course this is the same Health Canada that inspected Sandoz’s Boucherville Quebec plant and found no issues, only to have the U.S. FDA come in and tell Sandoz to fix their problems or be prohibited from selling their product south of the border.
While Sandoz knew it had to shut down its line well in advance, it failed to give early notice to Health Canada, resulting in significant shortages of intravenous drugs at hospitals across Canada.