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October 27, 2017 11:34 pm

Would Pay-for-Plasma Open the Door to Another Blood Clinic in PG?

Thursday, March 31, 2016 @ 8:10 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Was the closure of the Canadian Blood Services blood donor clinic in Prince George last year premature?

That’s the question being asked this week after B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake admitted he is open to allowing a pay-for-plasma clinic in this province.

Lake tells 250News that a company (Canadian Plasma Resources) has made some inquiries in B.C. but notes “it’s not an initiative of the ministry of health.”

“We do know that Canadian Blood Services currently gets over 70% of the plasma product that we use in Canada from the United States and it comes mostly from paid donors,” he says.

“So I certainly understand why they’re in the market to have a home-grown source of plasma products.”

And though some provinces, like Ontario, have taken a legislated stand against the idea, another, Saskatchewan, has welcomed the company with open arms.

As for the west coast, he says B.C. is taking a wait-and-see approach to the matter.

“We don’t have an ideology one way or the other in terms of acquiring plasma products in this way.”

But Dr. Graham Sher, Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Blood Services, says even if a plasma clinic were to open in B.C (most likely in an urban centre) it wouldn’t open up the need for further donations from Prince George.

“The office was very small and it collected very small volumes of blood,” he says.

“And because of its remote geographic proximity, or lack of proximity to our production facility in Vancouver, it was challenging for us to take the blood collected in Prince George, get it down to our manufacturing site in Vancouver and have it processed in time.”

In fact Sher says the small amount of plasma collected here “didn’t contribute any meaningful volume to the plasma that we sent to get manufactured.”

“In order to operate a plasma site alone, you need a very large urban population, high numbers of donors, with very high frequency.”

(He says the majority of the blood collected here was red blood cells, the demand for which is going down).

However he maintains closing the Prince George office was still a very difficult decision to make.

“It was not made lightly and we didn’t make it in Prince George alone,” says Sher.

“A couple of years prior to that we had closed a couple of other sites and last year we closed Prince George, plus three other sites in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada and moved several mobile collection sites.


70% from the US. That is very upsetting. The pay for donations idea brings in the wrong crowd to donate. Tough to know that the blood collected here was so little that it was insignificant.

Something is wrong with this picture. I have Hemochromatosis so I have to get rid of blood twice a year and I have RH O negitive blood type, so I hate to dump it down the drain, so I have been going to other places to give blood. I would like to tell the people that worked in our Prince George Site, you were the best. It seems to me it would cost a lot more to bring Blood from the U.S when in Canada we give it for free. Who wants American Blood??

The closing of our site save a couple of administrive positions somewhere else !!.. we were competitive with Kelowna. For 6 months after closing PG I kept getting calls from CBS about donating due to blood shortage ?

something else the government can sluff off onto someone else so they don’t have to live up to their end of the healthcare deal.
Wonder what they will spend the money they will save, on…
trips around the country confirming what is already known ?

I had over 60 donations at the PG blood donor clinic before they closed, We need to get it back. Getting over 70% from the US is unacceptable

Getting 70% from the US is unacceptable and scary if people are getting paid to give , you have who is doing the giving , this should be looked into is their screening as good as ours. I am very disappointed in our Health Minister Terry Lake.

    People are getting paid to donate in the US, what is the difference if they are paid here?

I meant to say you do not know who is doing the giving. If the Americans are paying to give Blood and Canada is buying it , how costly is that?

Wonder if there any chance of Donald Trump being a blood donor in the USA and his blood coming to Canada. Think of the consequences.

PG was competitive with Kelowna in collections.. Only problem encountered here is getting it to Van to be processed.. Strange they would shut down the clinic here when there is such a shortage in the province

Another thought… with all the blood coming from the US, not only are we identifying with out neighbours south of us, but we are getting more American, by the US blood that is pumped into us… Just a thought


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