May 5, 2015

EU-wide overview of the market of blood, blood components and plasma derivatives

The European Commission (EC) published in April a report on ‘An EU-wide overview of the market of blood, blood components and plasma derivatives focusing on their availability for patients’.

The key objective of the document is to provide an economic perspective on the European blood sector. This was done against the background of understanding and improving the safety, quality and availability of therapies delivered by the sector to European patients.

This report highlights the complexity of the market due to diverging activities and interests of the stakeholders some from the private sector, others from the public or semi-public sectors. These differences often create divergent opinions on, for example, the interpretation of the principle of voluntary and unpaid donation. Another topic of divergency is the definition of self-sufficiency, a concept strongly encouraged at European level. 
The definition of shortage also creates controversies. While safety and quality of blood and blood components are within the mandate of the EC, availability, which is a recurring concern for patients, healthcare authorities and healthcare professionals, is a competence of the Member States.

The EC recommends the development of common definitions for clearer interpretation, common understanding and transparency as these differences lead to different views on risks, epidemiology or processing steps, and related safety and quality measures.

Full report
Key findings

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