Saskatoon’s pay-for-plasma clinic one of two in Canada, awaits Health Canada report
Health Canada is set to release a report that could change how blood plasma is collected in the country.
Saskatoon is one of two for-profit plasma clinics in Canada. The other is in Moncton, N.B.
“We feel it’s important that there’s a sustainable supply of plasma, and anything we can do to increase the supply of plasma is probably going to help patient care in the longer term,” Patrick O’Byrne a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, said.
At Saskatoon’s clinic, which is operated by Canadian Plasma Resources, the plasma gathered is used to make medications. Each session takes about 90 minutes and donors walk away with up to $50 in gift cards.
“It’s something that I do because I feel like it’s a good cause, as well as the reimbursement that we get helps too,” Kendric Gonda, a repeat plasma donor, told CTV News.
But plasma incentives could have a negative impact on voluntary donor numbers, according to Canadian Blood Services.
“We are seeing it is harder to attract donors in the 17 to 24 age category, a very important demographic for the blood system. It is more expensive for us to collect blood there than it used to be,” Dr. Graham Sher, CEO of Canadian Blood Services, said.
Dr. Sher said all countries need to collect more plasma, including Canada, and Canadian Blood Services wants to be the organization to do it — under the publically-funded, non-remunerated system.
Last January, Canadian Blood Services asked provincial legislators to pause any further expansion on commercial, for-profit plasma collectors.
British Columbia is the latest province to introduce legislation banning for-profit plasma clinics from opening in that province. Similar laws already exist in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
Health Canada’s report is expected to be released in a few days.