Tag Archives: paid plasma donation

Paid Plasma Debate: The Atlantic describes how desperate donors deceive plasma screeners

When it comes to collection of plasma for pharmaceutical purposes, Canada appears to be on the verge of becoming more like the United States. That may not be a good thing.

The private for-profit Canadian Plasma Resources has a plan to operate paid plasma donations centers across Canada that would compete for donors with the volunteer Canadian Blood Services.

They have recently set up an Astroturf group with several patient groups that are backed by big pharma. The Ontario Plasma Coalition has even registered as a third party advertiser for the Ontario Election.

There is no question that the lobby efforts are on to stop the new government from reintroducing a bill that would prohibit paid plasma and blood donation in the province.

The last bill died when the election was called in May. Originally it had all-party support although the Tories appeared to be wavering just prior to the election call.

Now The Atlantic magazine has published its own expose of the state of plasma donation in the United States.

Written from the perspective of a “plasser” – a twice-weekly paid donor – it tells the story of desperate people who lie and seek means to deceive screeners in order to get payment for their plasma. It also talks about the donor’s own health being placed at risk through such frequent visits.

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Take Action: Swift passage of Act needed to stop paid plasma donation in Ontario

It’s been almost two years since we stumbled upon a plan by a private for-profit company to open a series of clinics that would pay Canadian donors for plasma.

The last voluntary dedicated plasma collection center operated by Canadian Blood Services (CBS) had just closed its doors in Thunder Bay a week earlier in April 2012.

CBS has always maintained that there was never any connection between the two events. On the one hand CBS said they didn’t need the plasma generated from Thunder Bay, on the other a commercial company was being set up to exploit a world-wide demand for plasma to be manufactured primarily into intravenous immunoglobulin, used commonly to boost immunity during cancer treatments.

Such private companies are not that unusual in the world, but in Canada sensitivities remain particularly raw given the so-called “tainted blood” scandal. About 30,000 Canadians suffered the consequences of imported paid plasma into this country from the United States in the 1990s. We met one of the survivors as we protested the closure in Thunder Bay.

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