IBTO Explains Blood Imports

IBTO Explains Blood Imports IBTO Explains Blood Imports

The Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization (IBTO) imports blood products only for in vitro culture in IBTO laboratories and to produce drugs derived from blood plasma in certain treatments. Import and export of human organs, tissues and blood is completely banned by law, said the public relations office of the IBTO.

Studies that are in vitro (in glass) are performed with cells or biological molecules studied outside their normal biological context; for example proteins are examined in solution, or cells in artificial culture medium.

Dr. Ali Akbar Pourfathollah, head of IBTO had said earlier that only plasma-derived medicines including factor VIII and albumin which are required for treatment of thalassemic and hemophilic patients are imported. The blood products used for other treatment are completely domestic, he said, reports ISNA.

 Last year (ended March 20), 170,000 liters of blood plasma was donated by Iranians to the IBTO and 200,000 liters were received by Iranian private organizations.

“We have implemented the first phase of establishing a refining factory to produce blood plasma-derived pharmaceutical products,” he said.

“Therefore soon, most of our plasma-derived medications will be made from local blood plasma. We are making efforts to become self sufficient in producing the medications so as to allay concerns about the entry of new viruses as well as HIV and Hepatitis C virus from imported blood products.”

Medications derived from local plasma will be much cheaper as well as beneficial to both patients and the government, he said.

Pointing to the import of contaminated blood from France in the 1980s which caused more than 300 hemophiliacs to get infected with HIV and Hepatitis C, he said “we should learn from the experience and try to become self-sufficient in producing plasma-derived products.”

The IBTO brushed aside reports that in the first five months of the current year, 22,992 kilograms of human blood and animal blood worth $3.3 million were imported from China, Germany, Taiwan, Turkey, France, Canada and India.  And also reports that in the past year, 84,525 kilograms of human and animal blood worth $10.7 million were imported from China, Germany, Austria, USA, Taiwan, Turkey, Sweden and France.

Animal blood is used for prophylactic or diagnostic uses, in producing vaccines and toxins and similar products, and cultures of micro-organisms in laboratories (excluding yeasts).