The hospitals will receive, at the beginning of this year, the first medicines derived from plasma, resulting from the benevolent donations of blood collected in Portugal, the Portuguese Institute of Blood and Transplantation (IPST) announced today.
“For the first time in Portugal, we are going to have plasma-derived medicinal products obtained from plasma harvested in Portugal,” said IPST president João Paulo Almeida e Sousa.
The measure is part of an institute’s strategy to “make the most of the country’s benign donations of blood” and is the conclusion of the first phase of the National Strategic Plan for Plasma Fractionation, using 30,000 liters of plasma, harvested in the IPST network, explained João Paulo Almeida e Sousa.
“It is the epilogue of a long road that has been going on for years and that, finally, it was possible to conclude, after the launch of a competitive dialogue competition, unprecedented in our country,” he said.
The use for the production of drugs derived from the most consumed domestic plasma – human albumin, human immunoglobulin, and factor VIII – represents about two million euros in this first batch.
According to the IPST president, this supply of plasma-derived medicines represents “economic gains”, with a reduction in external dependence and a decrease in imports, but also a “significant return, which is morally and ethically benevolent and unselfish gift of the Portuguese. ”
On the other hand, he pointed out, “is a contribution to national sufficiency in some plasma derivatives, in addition to the use of plasma for transfusion” in which Portugal is self-sufficient.
João Paulo Almeida e Sousa explained that the medicines now obtained “do not meet the universal needs of the country”, because Portugal has no scale, “in terms of volume of crops at the national level, that allows extracting all medicines derived from plasma”.
Regarding the national consumption and with regard to the three medicines that were obtained in this insolvency proceeding, albumin accounts for about 35% of the national consumption, factor eight to about 25% and human immunoglobulin to about 20% of the national consumption, he maintained.
“In any case, it is an important contribution because we are getting for the first time medicinal products derived from plasma that were imported in full,” he said.
The president of the IPST said that the institute will now advance to a second phase of the National Strategic Plan of Plasma Fractionation, which will imply a new contest to be held during this year in which will enter, besides the plasma of the institute, the plasma of hospitals.
“In the first contest were to fractionate 30 thousand liters of IPST plasma and in the next contest we expect to have 50 thousand liters of the institute and hospitals,” said João Paulo Almeida e Sousa.