NDP, Blood Watch call for an end to paying for plasma donations

The NDP joined with Blood Watch to call on the government to end the practice of pay for plasma donations in Saskatchewan, and instead focus more on bolstering the volunteer system run through Canadian Blood Services (CBS).

“There are a number of health and safety risks associated with paying for plasma donations,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “By strengthening the province’s volunteer system, we can limit this risk while also ensuring that the donations stay in the province and benefit those who need it in Saskatchewan instead of international pharmaceutical companies.”

Following the opening of a pay for plasma clinic in Saskatoon, the CEO of CBS noted that local donation numbers dropped posing a risk to Canadian supply.

The Saskatchewan government agreed to allow a pay for plasma clinic to operate under the false pretense that plasma donated at the clinic will stay in the province. CBS does not purchase blood products from paid donors in Canada. Several provinces, including Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have already moved to ban paid plasma donations.

“CBS has to be the centre of procuring and distributing blood products in order to be done as safely and efficiently as possible,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “Having more focus on supporting CBS will lead to an increase in donations and allow it to become self-sufficient.”

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