UK GOVERNMENT LIFTS BAN TO ALLOW BLOOD PLASMA USE FOR LIFE-SAVING TREATMENTS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • UK Government has removed ban the use of UK-sourced blood plasma for the manufacturing of immunoglobulins.
  • Immunoglobulins are useful for life-saving treatments.
  • The new decision is going to benefit thousands of NHS patients through innovative medicines made from plasma.
  • Decision came after expert scientists recommended this treatments as safe.

United Kingdom (UK) government has lifted a decades-old ban on donations of plasma in the UK from being used to manufacture the medicines known as known as immunoglobulins. This decision can benefit thousands more critically ill patients through life-saving treatments that can be made from UK-sourced blood plasma.

Immunoglobulins are manufactured from blood plasma donated by the public. They are useful for treating several serious diseases and conditions, such as for those patients who are suffering from severely reduced immune systems due to long-term cancer treatment. People with antibody deficiencies can also benefit from the treatment through immunoglobulins.

With the ban lifted, the government can start to use plasma donations from UK blood donors to manufacture these life-saving medicines for National Health Service (NHS) patients. The ban on blood plasma donation was imposed in 1998 due to concerns over the spread of a human variant of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as ‘mad cow’s disease’. This variant was known as Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease. Now experts in medicine safety working with the independent Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) are advising the use of UK-sourced plasma to manufacture immunoglobulins for treatment. Experts say that immunoglobulins are safe and today many robust safety measures are available.

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