In 1998, a ban on UK-sourced plasma was introduced in the UK in response to concerns over the spread of an infectious disease. Now, 23 years later, thousands of individuals who need and rely on plasma and plasma-derived therapies will be able to benefit from treatments made from UK-sourced plasma, as the government lifts the ban. By lifting the ban, individuals can begin to donate plasma to be used for plasma-derived treatments.
The Health Minister Lord Bethell says "Following expert advice, I am pleased we are now able to lift this ban to help thousands of NHS (National Health Service) patients access these potentially lifesaving treatments as quickly as possible."
Until this ban was lifted, the UK has been dependant on importing donated plasma from other countries, mainly the United States, in order to manufacture the treatments they needed. With the plasma shortage and the continually rising demand for plasma, it's critically important that we can reach as many donors as possible, in the U.S., the UK, and around the world.
Lifting the ban will help the UK's supply chain of plasma and improve its ability to quickly and regularly produce plasma-derived treatments. The government is also introducing a new condition to ensure that plasma collected in the UK is used first in the country and not exported elsewhere.
"The move will also help England become self-sufficient and we will not have to rely only on imports from other countries, ensuring every NHS patient can always access the treatments they need," says Health Minister Lord Bethell.
We hope that more of our friends in the UK will step into their roles as Plasma Heroes. For more information on plasma-derived therapy and how you can become a plasma hero, visit: www.plasmahero.org.
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