PPTA Comments on Time Magazine Article

In an article published September 14 by Time magazine describing the national conversation surrounding teachers’ salaries across the United States, a teacher in Versailles, Kentucky, is profiled for earning supplemental income by donating blood plasma twice a week. The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) commends the teacher, Hope Brown, for her commitment to empowering the next generation of Americans with a quality education and for her dedication to supporting individuals who rely on access to lifesaving therapies derived from blood plasma donations. We are grateful for each of the donations provided by Hope Brown and every healthy, committed plasma donor.

Each of Ms. Brown’s donations – along with the 42 million other plasma donations made in the United States last year – will ultimately become medicines for people living with rare, genetic, and chronic diseases. People’s reasons for donating plasma are as varied as the diseases treated by plasma protein therapies themselves. Plasma cannot be made in a laboratory, so most rare disease patients who need these therapies rely on plasma donors for their treatments. Plasma protein therapies are truly unique, lifesaving biologic medicines.

While many donors contribute their plasma out of a sense of community support, some do so as a means to ease financial stress or to earn extra income. A 2018 letter from 31 ethicists and economists, including two Nobel Prize winners, explains the compensation plasma donors receive is for their time and inconvenience.[1]

As Jim, who lives with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Neuropathy says, “Rare diseases are only ‘rare’ until they happen to you. Having access to plasma protein therapies saved my life and allowed me to start a career and have a family.”

Solyanna is a young woman who donates blood plasma regularly and said, “If my plasma donations can help other people who rely on plasma to treat their diseases, why wouldn’t I donate? I want to be a part of improving other people’s lives.”

To learn more about the diseases treated by plasma protein therapies, and to read the stories of patients and plasma donors, please visit www.HowIsYourDay.org.

[1] Jaworski, Roth, et al (2018, January 16) “Submission to the Expert Panel on Immune Globulin Product Supply and Related Impacts in Canada” https://www.donationethics.com/

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