Plasma Derivatives to Reach 1m Liters by 2020

The current level of plasma production has surpassed 400,000 liters per year.The current level of plasma production has surpassed 400,000 liters per year.

Iran Blood Transfusion Organization plans to increase the storage of blood plasma and production of plasma derivatives by 2020. 

Plasma derivatives are concentrates of specific plasma proteins prepared from pools (many donor units) of plasma. Plasma derivatives are obtained through a process known as fractionation and they are heat-treated and/or solvent detergent-treated to kill certain viruses like those that cause HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. 

“We have plans to increase production of plasma, plasma derivatives and special hemoglobin to surpass one million liters within the next five years,” said Ali Akbar Pourfathollah, head of the IBTO.

Blood plasma is used to produce life-saving medicines in blood disorders such as factors X and IX, and immunoglobulin and albumin deficiencies.

Based on reports by the World Health Organization, Iran has been able to bring about a $10 million reduction in the overall price of plasma-derivative medicine through local production over the past five years.

“New diseases such as AIDS necessitated the production of plasma derivatives in the country and the region,” said Pourfathollah, IRNA reported.

The rate of blood platelet storage in the country has also increased from 400,000 to one million units in the past five years.

Noting that a low platelet count occurs frequently in the elderly as a result of arthritis, a malfunctioning immune system or chemotherapy, he said about two-thirds of blood platelets and other blood products “will have to be used for people over 55 in the near future.”

“We are anticipating a blood products shortage (due to the graying population of Iran), and we need to take precautionary measures to make up for the high future demand,” he noted.

The IBTO has been making efforts to increase blood collection capacities by expanding services, and centers to receive blood platelet donors are currently being established across the country. It is also eyeing self-sufficiency in plasma derivatives. The current level of plasma production has surpassed 400,000 liters per year.

Five plots of 1,000 sq meters each have been designated in districts one, four, five, 18 and 20 in Tehran and permits issued for construction of buildings for setting up plasma separating units.

Over two million blood units are donated to the IBTO every year. There are 23 people per 1000 donating blood in the country.

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