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Whole blood use is declining while plasma-derived product consumption rises
Whole blood transfusions, typically employed during surgeries, has dropped by roughly a third between 2009 and 2014, says Kalorama Information (New York), citing American Red Cross statistics. Meanwhile, the consumption of plasma-derived immunoglobulins in intravenous (IVIG) therapies is rising, projected by Kalorma to grow 6% annually through 2018. Plasma is obtained by fractionating whole blood, or by “source” plasma from the use of apheresis machines that fractionate the plasma and return red blood cells to the donor. Plasma derived from whole blood has been relatively flat for a decade, while source plasma has filled the demand.
There’s a geographic factor at play as well, says the company. Over ten times as much plasma is collected in the United States as in Europe- in 2013, 29.4 million liters to 2.3 million liters. The vast majority of source plasma is collected by private (for-profit) industry. National governments once active in plasma markets through blood fractionation activities have since ceded collection to plasma specialists in the pharmaceutical industry and not-for-profit blood collection organizations.
The production of not-for-profit participants has become increasingly insufficient towards meeting regional plasma demand. Plasma collection from the fractionation of whole blood has remained largely flat in volume for over the past decade, with source plasma responsible for supplying rising demand.
The report, Kalorama Information's Blood: The Worldwide Market for Blood Products, Blood Testing, Blood Equipment, and Synthetic Blood Products is available here.