On April 10, 2013, Health Canada organized a full-day roundtable discussion with key stakeholders on the the issue of paying Canadians to donate plasma that will be used in the production of pharmaceutical products. The summary report of these discussions is now available for review.
Also, a discussion backgrounder provides further background information on the federal role as regulator of the safety of plasma donations, based on concerns raised at the stakeholder meeting as well as correspondence received to date by Health Canada.
The various partners in Canada's blood system have different roles and responsibilities related to this issue. Canadian Blood Services manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories, except Québec where Héma-Québec has the mandate. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the safety of Canada's blood supply. The provincial and territorial governments are responsible for blood distribution systems and practices, and have the authority to allow or disallow the payment of donors for their blood, including plasma. Different jurisdictions have taken different approaches on this question. For example, Manitoba has allowed paid donations for more than 30 years, whereas Quebec has decided not to allow it. In Canada plasma used for transfusion is collected solely by the Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec, and only from volunteer donors. The Government of Canada fully supports this voluntary system of donations for transfusions. Plasma used for the manufacturing of plasma products is also collected by private companies and from paid donors. Cangene Corporation, a private company based in Winnipeg has been licensed by Health Canada for more than 30 years and is an international supplier of plasma products manufactured from plasma obtained from paid donors.
Recently, another private company, Canadian Plasma Resources, has applied to Health Canada to open plasma collection sites in downtown Toronto from paid donors. On March 12, 2013, the Minister of Health committed to seeking input from Canadians on this issue.
Please review the summary report of the roundtable with stakeholders and/or the background document. You may also request a copy of Health Canada's presentation to the roundtable group by sending an email to BGTD.OPIC@hc-sc.gc.ca. Please provide any comments you may have.
Wherever possible please note on what you base your input (e.g. something you read, heard in the media, research study, personal opinion, etc.). Any and all comments are welcome. After the consultation closes, Health Canada will publish a summary of the input received.
Health Canada is continually reviewing the most current science on this topic. If you have any scientific evidence or study you feel should be considered, you are encouraged to submit it.
Please submit your comments by July 26, 2013.
Please e-mail comments to BGTD.OPIC@hc-sc.gc.ca.
Comments will also be accepted by: