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PPTA Responds to ARD Documentary

A recent documentary, “Blood Trade – Health vs. Dollars,” published by a German television network, focuses on the role plasma donors play in providing blood plasma, the starting material used to create therapies for patients around the world living with rare, serious, and sometimes life-threatening diseases. The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) and its member companies agree with the reporters that plasma donors save lives.

This industry is committed to the health and safety of every person who donates plasma at nearly 900 plasma donation centers in the United States and in Europe, and it adheres to stringent regulations, both in the U.S. and internationally, so that only those who are healthy enough to donate plasma can do so. While different countries have varying regulations regarding plasma collection, no single regulatory scheme is better than another; all regulations are in place to ensure donor safety and the safety and efficacy of the finished therapies.

Every plasma donation contributes directly to saving and improving someone’s life. Though they are not employees of donation centers and give plasma voluntarily, plasma donors in the U.S. and in some European countries[1] are compensated for their generosity and dedication to helping others. Individuals' reasons for donating plasma are as varied as the diseases treated by plasma-derived therapies. As noted in the film, some donors give to offset school or travel expenses, while others donate to relieve financial stress or to help friends and loved ones. PPTA and its member companies firmly believe, however, that compensated and non-compensated plasma donation can coexist. Ultimately, what matters most is that enough plasma, donated by healthy and committed donors, is available so those who rely on access to plasma-derived therapies can live normal and healthy lives.

Most of the world’s supply of plasma currently originates in the United States. The reporters suggest, and PPTA and its member companies agree, that European countries need to do more to encourage plasma donation wherever possible to provide therapies for patients. PPTA has advocated for several years for steps to achieve more plasma collection in Europe, including:

  • Establishing plasmapheresis programs for the purpose of collecting plasma for manufacturing use and outreach campaigns aimed at current and potential plasma donors.
  • Recognizing that having enough plasma available for manufacturing use is essential and allowing the coexistence of publicly- and privately-owned plasma collection centers.
  • Permitting systems that allow plasma donors to be compensated for their effort and dedication to providing lifesaving material for patients around the world.

PPTA and its member companies are grateful for every plasma donor, whether in the United States or Europe, and their dedication to saving lives around the world. To learn more about the diseases treated by access to therapies derived from plasma, and to read stories from plasma donors and patients, please visit www.HowIsYourDay.org.

[1] Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Czech Republic

Response also available in German

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