The current debate over paid plasma donation has brought out a number of patient groups – including those funded by big-pharma – that are suggesting Canada has no choice but to pay for plasma donation owing to a world-wide shortage.
Given Canadian Blood Services has been emphatic about sufficient supply on the world market, this is a rather curious claim.
If you go to the home page of Alpha 1 Canada (which is funded by Kamada, Grifols, and GlaxoSmithKline, among others) there is no mention of their members having difficulty obtaining existing plasma–based products.
So what changed, other than lobbying by Canadian Plasma Resources?
In fact one of Alpha 1 Canada’s sponsors, Grifols, just opened a new fractionation plant in Spain that will double capacity in that country and assist in increasing their world-wide output from 9.6 million litres to 12 million litres of fractionated plasma by 2016. Grifols accounts for 20 per cent of the world market for plasma-based pharmaceuticals.