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.