By Anita Brikman

This year's PPTA Fly-In in Washington, D.C., was a great success thanks to the passionate advocates who joined with PPTA staff for the day. More than two dozen advocates headed to the nation’s capital on June 5 to share the power of plasma with lawmakers, raising issues that affect communities and patients nationwide. Attendees included PPTA member company employees from a broad range of functional areas, as well as patients, patient advocacy organizations, and other partners.

Throughout the day, we had the privilege of meeting with Senators, Representatives and their staff members. These meetings provided a chance to share the difference between plasma-derived therapies and traditional pharmaceuticals, as well as the importance of patient access to these lifesaving medications.  

In addition, attendees encouraged Representatives to join the Congressional Plasma Caucus to help educate and increase awareness about the unique nature and role of plasma-derived therapies among lawmakers.

My favorite moment of the day came when I heard Von Willebrand disease patient Matt Delaney share these meaningful words: “This is one of my favorite Hill days of the year. We get to come together alongside donation center staff, PPTA staff, and patient organizations, to advocate for the uniqueness of plasma-derived therapies to Members of Congress.”

Our efforts on Capitol Hill were well received, with several offices expressing a strong interest in joining the Plasma Caucus and attending future plasma-focused educational events on the Hill. Advocates participated in more than five meetings per team on average, resulting in 34 visits to legislators' offices. Making a difference is possible, one meeting at a time.  

This year’s Fly-In was a positive force for change. I’m grateful for the dedication and passion of all those involved. PPTA will continue to stay involved and host future events on Capitol Hill, including a special awareness event this fall, just ahead of International Plasma Awareness Week. Stay tuned for more details, and in the meantime, enjoy photos from this year’s Fly-In.