ATIP documents about for-profit plasma clinic
In response to the ongoing dialogue regarding Health Canada and for-profit plasma collection, the Canadian Health Coalition would like to publicly share documents obtained through an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request.
These documents include year-end assessments of key performance metrics at the Canadian Blood Services’ (CBS, public collector) clinic in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan since the opening of the Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR, the private, for-profit plasma collector) clinic in the city.
Overall CBS is gaining new donors in Saskatchewan, however they are still below the new target rates they set. What is most concerning is the significant drop in the 17-24-year-old donor cohort. This cohort is one of the most desirable donor groups as they can become lifelong donors. Losing this age group now could put CBS in an unfortunate position in later years.
Canadian Blood Services wrote a letter to the Honourable Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan’s Minister of Health stating: “The 17-to-24-year-old segment is experiencing a double-digit decline at the Saskatoon site. This could be attributed to CPR and the demographic they are targeting for recruitment. This trend is not reflective of national and regional trends for this age cohort.”
Despite the warnings from CBS to the Saskatchewan Health Minister, in a public statement released over the weekend, Health Canada wrote:
“To date, Health Canada has seen no data supporting a decline in voluntary blood donations in regions where paid plasma clinics operate in Canada. Due to public concerns about this possibility, as part of its license, Canadian Plasma Resources has been instructed by Health Canada to monitor the history of its donors with respect to prior blood donation, in order to ensure that there is no negative impact on voluntary blood donations in their areas of operation.”
It is our hope that Health Canada reviews the documents obtained by the Canadian Health Coalition and immediately addresses the concern of the decreasing 17-24-year-old donor cohort.
The Canadian Health Coalition continues to call on Health Canada to revoke the establishment licenses granted to for-profit plasma collectors and safeguard our plasma supply.