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For-profit plasma dangerous to Canadian blood supply chain, warns Hornick

There is no place for private, for-profit companies in the Canadian blood supply chain, President JP Hornick writes in a letter to the CEO of Canadian Blood Services, co-signed by Geoff Cain, Chair of OPSEU/SEFPO’s CBS & Diagnostics sector.

Canadian Blood Services should focus on stepping up the expansion of their domestic blood collection program with more staff and infrastructure instead of turning to private companies for paid plasma.

Read their letter to Dr. Graham Sher below:

July 15, 2022

Dr. Graham Sher
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Blood Services
1800 Alta Vista Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1G 4J5

Dear Dr. Sher,

As Canadians who depend on a safe blood supply and OPSEU/SEFPO leaders, we are alarmed at reports that Canadian Blood Services (CBS) may be in secret talks with Grifols, a privatized plasma company, to expand for-profit, paid plasma in our blood collection system. CBS made a commitment in writing to not buy plasma from for-profit company Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) – this commitment should extend to Grifols and any other private plasma company.

CBS should be focusing on expanding its domestic collection program with more staff and infrastructure, not turning to private, for-profit companies for paid plasma. While CBS has started expanding collection programs, the pace of expansion needs to be increased to meet the needs of our blood system.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the 1997 Krever Inquiry report on the entirely preventable tainted blood tragedy that occurred in the 1980’s. The recommendations were clear: Canada’s blood system should be self-sufficient, blood should be a public resource, donors should not be paid for blood, and access to blood products should be universal and free. These recommendations are more pertinent than ever, given the impact COVID-19 has had on supply chains and donors. They are also reaffirmed today by leading blood policy organizations around the world, including the WHO, the European Blood Alliance, and the International Society of Transfusion Medicine.

Ontario passed the Voluntary Blood Donations Act in 2014 because the province recognizes the importance of abiding by the Krever Inquiry recommendations and ensuring the safety of the blood supply chain by keeping plasma collection out of the hands of for-profit companies like Grifols.

On behalf of CBS workers and all OPSEU/SEFPO members, we call on you to immediately end your talks with Grifols and any other for-profit blood collection company, and step up the expansion of CBS’s blood collection operations.


JP Hornick

Geoff Cain
Executive Board Member
Chair, CBS & Diagnostics Sector

c:  Hon. Sylvia Jones, Minister of Health, Ontario
France Gélinas, MPP, Opposition Health Critic
Dr. Brian Postl, Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Blood Services
Ashley Haugh, Executive Assistant, Canadian Blood Services