June 14, 2021 (Brussels, Belgium) – The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) is proud to mark World Blood Donor Day. This day is an opportunity to specifically thank plasma donors, as well as blood donors, and recognize their shared commitment and contributions to saving and improving the lives of patients in Europe.
PPTA welcomes EU Health Commissioner Kyriakides’ recognition of the crucial role of plasma and blood donors for people living with chronic and rare diseases, particularly her comment that “Blood plasma also plays a vital role with 8 million litres donated to tackle immune deficiency and make lifesaving medicines for conditions such as haemophilia, a rare condition that affects the blood's ability to clot.” Yet to meet the growing clinical need in Europe, a lot more plasma collection is needed. Europe is today highly dependent on plasma coming from the United States.
Around 300,000 European patients rely on plasma donations that are used to manufacture plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMPs) that treat a variety of rare and chronic and/or genetic diseases and serious, often life-threatening medical conditions. For individuals with these conditions, PDMPs replace their missing or deficient proteins. Without these treatments, many patients would either not be able to survive or would have a substantially diminished quality of life and productivity.
“Patients throughout Europe rely on plasma donors to access their plasma-derived therapies, to live normal, healthy lives. However, plasma donors in only four countries currently contribute more than half of the plasma collected in Europe. PPTA has long-advocated for an increase in European plasma availability by establishing dedicated plasma collection (plasmapheresis) programs and outreach campaigns towards plasma donors in all EU Member States,” commented Maarten Van Baelen, Executive Director, PPTA Europe.
Plasma donations have always been essential and necessary. This need was exacerbated during the pandemic because of social distancing and other safety protocols that led to declines in plasma donations last year. Nevertheless, the availability of PDMPs is reliant on enough plasma being collected and manufactured into these lifesaving therapies.
Join PPTA in celebrating World Blood Donor Day as we recognize the contributions of plasma and blood donors in saving and improving lives!
For more information on Europe’s need to collect more plasma, click here.
Learn more and find a donation center near you: www.donatingplasma.org
Director, Global Communications
Created on June 14 2021.