TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - On behalf of all patients with rare diseases and those with common conditions who rely on donated plasma as a source of life-saving and life-enhancing therapies, the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders (CORD) congratulates the Saskatchewan government and Minister Dustin Duncan for their foresight and courage in supporting the establishment of a plasma-collection facility in Saskatoon.
It is unacceptable that Canada, which is self-sufficient in red blood cell collection, collects only enough plasma to meet 20% of its plasma product needs. Instead, we import about 80% of our plasma products manufactured from plasma collected from donors in the USA. Not only do we pay more for imported plasma products, but also we are competing with the rest of the world for access to these products.
Moreover, we feel it is important to directly refute the concern raised by some opponents that plasma donation sites may detract from red blood cell donations and even a token "thank you" gift to regular plasma donors will deter red blood cell donors. The rare disease community depends on both red blood cells as well as plasma products. We are confident, based on the many years of experience in other countries, primarily the USA, which collects the majority of the world's supply of plasma, that the establishment of plasma-collection sites offers no risk to Canadians continued commitment to donate red blood cells.
CORD appreciates the dedicated efforts of Canadian Plasma Resources to achieving this first plasma-collection facility. We have confidence in the Saskatoon facility, which has been approved by Health Canada and is based on industry best practices. CORD hopes that this will be the first of many other plasma-collection sites not only in Saskatchewan but also the rest of Canada. We believe that many Canadians will be willing to become regular plasma donors and help bridge a worldwide need for plasma products.
Today, Saskatchewan has taken a major step to helping fulfill the needs for plasma products among patients not only in Canada but worldwide. Kudos to Minister Duncan.
About the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders (CORD)
CORD is Canada's national network for organizations representing all those with rare disorders. CORD provides a strong common voice to advocate for health policy and a healthcare system that works for those with rare disorders. CORD works with governments, researchers, clinicians and industry to promote research, diagnosis, treatment and services for all rare disorders in Canada. www.raredisorders.ca
SOURCE Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders (CORD)
For further information: Durhane Wong-Rieger, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, (647) 801-5176, firstname.lastname@example.org