Canadian veins are not for profit

On September 7, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) announced an undisclosed 15-year deal with Grifols, a for-profit multinational pharmaceutical company, to privatize plasma collection in Canada.

This agreement gives Grifols a monopoly to collect paid plasma in Ontario and B.C. CBS has taken advantage of a legal loophole to get around a ban on private companies collecting blood for payment.

Our safety is at stake

Private plasma collection creates a blood-for-money system.

Private plasma collection exploits vulnerable populations.

Private plasma collection does not guarantee Canada’s blood plasma self-sufficiency.

Private plasma collection favors profits over ethics.

Private plasma collection negatively impacts voluntary donor populations.

Make your city a “No Paid Plasma Zone”!

As part of the No Paid Plasma campaign we have developed a resolution that you can take to your own local city council and encourage them to declare their city a “No Paid Plasma Zone!”

The resolution is rooted in the principles of voluntary, non-remunerated blood and plasma donation, as recommended by the World Health Organization and the Krever Commission.

The resolution addresses recent developments that undermine these principles, like the secret 15-year exclusive contract signed by Canadian Blood Services with Grifols Pharmaceuticals, allowing the company to operate paid plasma clinics despite paid blood and plasma collection being prohibited in Ontario.

By supporting this resolution and encouraging your city council to pass it, you can help protect our public blood and plasma collection system, safeguard the health of Ontarians, and prevent the exploitation of vulnerable populations.

Please consider bringing this resolution to the attention of your city council and advocating for its passage. Together, we can ensure the safety, integrity, and fairness of our blood and plasma supply system!

Link to the resolution (PDF):  No Paid Plasma City Council Resolution

Save our voluntary blood system!

We need to demand better.

Join the growing number of Canadians – including Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles and Health Critic France Gélinas – telling  health ministers and key executives at Canadian Blood Services to stop the agreement with Grifols and comply with the terms of the Voluntary Blood Donations Act.

The email reads:

To: Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, Canada Sylvia Jones, Minister of Health, Ontario Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, British Columbia

To Ministers of Health,

Canadian Blood Services (CBS) has made an undisclosed 15-year deal with the Spanish-owned big pharma corporation Grifols to privatize blood plasma collection services in Canada. The deal — with the world’s largest for-profit plasma producer — would allow Grifols to pay donors for their plasma and grants the company a monopoly on paid plasma collection in Ontario and BC.

If allowed, the agreement would violate the Voluntary Blood Donations Act in Ontario, which protects blood plasma as a public resource. Appointing Grifols as a third-party collector for CBS would create a two-tier system for plasma collection. CBS has argued that because they are “exempt” from the law, Grifols should be too – but they are wrong.

CBS publicly took a stand against privatizing the collection of plasma in 2017. But, behind the scenes they were already taking steps to sell access to our plasma donors to private, for-profit companies whose collection model specifically targets poor and vulnerable populations to sell their plasma. It’s already happening in the US.

A shift toward a paid plasma collection would undermine CBS’ voluntary collection efforts and endanger the security of our voluntary donor base. It is also a betrayal of the public trust and an ethical violation of CBS’ duty to safeguard the blood system and voluntary donor base.

The Krever Commission’s findings are clear: blood is a public resource, donors shouldn’t be paid for their blood or plasma, and CBS should not contract their duties to another company. This deal contravenes these principles and current recommendations from all international blood organizations.

I am asking you to take action and commit to the following:

  1. Investigate the nature of this agreement and make the terms public.
  2. Issue an order for CBS to comply with the terms of the Voluntary Blood Donations Act; and
  3. Remove CBS CEO Graham Sher for his failure of leadership in the public interest.

With these critical changes, we can protect the integrity of the voluntary donation system and keep profit out of blood and plasma collection.

Canadian donors are not for sale!

I’m calling on you to do the right thing.


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What should CBS leadership be doing?

Full list of the CBS board members

Invest in public plasma collection

Hema-Quebec has shown that investment in public voluntary plasma collection is key to self-sufficiency. Australia, too, has reached almost 60% self-sufficiency, with just 2 plasma-only collection centres, by upgrading the majority of blood collection centres to collect both plasma and blood – an easier, faster transition.

Instead of throwing money at a private company, CBS should invest in plasma collection centres and upgrade more blood donation centres so they can also collect plasma.

Protect plasma donors

Private plasma companies have a history of exploiting vulnerable communities. Their predatory practices target young people and those facing financial difficulty. Canadian donors should never be treated as a source for private economic gain.

Respect the Voluntary Blood Donations Act

The Voluntary Blood Donations Act bans payment for blood in Ontario. The exemption allowing CBS to pay donors was meant for emergency circumstances; not as a legal loophole to sell off Canada’s plasma donors to private companies!

Stop the secrecy

CBS cannot be allowed to quietly privatize Canada’s blood plasma. CBS is accountable to the public. CBS must uphold their mandate to treat blood and plasma as a public resource: Cancel the deal with Grifols!

"Plasma, just like whole blood, is a public resource that must be safeguarded for Canadians."
- Canadian Blood Services, 2017

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