The share of domestic drugs from blood plasma is 18.9 percent of current consumption and 7.2 percent of the estimated need. Such data contains the draft Concept of the Ministry of Health on increasing the procurement of blood plasma for the production of medicines, published on the portal of legal information. This is planned to be achieved by modernizing institutions for the collection and storage of blood and reducing the cost of plasma procurement due to the growth of gratuitous donors. How this can turn out for those who donate blood and who receive medicines from it, was sorted out by the Parliamentary Newspaper.
Import – 60-70 percent
Medicines from blood plasma are in demand in almost all branches of medicine. They are used to prevent and treat infectious diseases, help save the lives of patients with diseases of the circulatory system, various neoplasms and pathologies, and are also indispensable in emergency situations when people need emergency help. For example, plasma is used to make albumins, which bind and inactivate toxins, and immunoglobulins, antibodies whose function is to neutralize infectious pathogens and toxins.
Now the deficit is covered by purchases abroad. Imports account for 64 percent of all albumin and 72 percent of immunoglobulin. At the same time, for example, concentrates of blood coagulation factors are not produced in Russia at all and are completely purchased abroad.
Stock – up to 1.8 million liters
The draft Concept of the Ministry of Health provides for an increase in the procurement of blood plasma for the production of medicines. They want to achieve this by modernizing institutions that collect and store blood, as well as increasing the volume of donated blood and reducing its cost.
So, as part of the first stage of the implementation of the concept – and this is 2023-2024 – they promise to repair and equip federal plasma centers, and during the second stage – 2025-2027 – the same regional institutions.
Also, according to plans, as part of the second stage, the volume of blood collection is planned to be increased to 1.2 million liters per year. And within the third – 2028-2030 – up to 1.8 million.
In addition, according to the concept, it is necessary to reduce the cost of procuring a liter of blood plasma: by 55 percent in 2023 and by 58.3 percent in 2030. This is planned to be achieved by increasing the number of donors, primarily on a gratuitous basis.
Free of charge, not quite free
As noted in the concept, now more than a million people donate blood in Russia every year, 99 percent do it free of charge. In this case, the donor is entitled to free food, which can be replaced by monetary compensation. It is defined as five percent of the subsistence minimum, so it differs depending on the region. Also, those who donate blood or its components are given two days off, they can be taken both on the day of donating blood, and later, for example, on vacation.
Those who donated blood more than 40 times, and plasma more than 60 times, are awarded the title of “Honorary Donor”. Such citizens have the right to medical care out of turn, sanitary treatment, vacation at a convenient time and once a year for a payment that is regularly indexed.
What blood is the most expensive
You can donate blood in Russia for money. But paid donors are not needed everywhere. Rare blood types are usually required. Also during the pandemic, blood with antibodies to the coronavirus was in demand. For example, at the end of 2021, Moscow increased payments to donors with antibodies from five to ten thousand rubles. The mayor of the capital announced this Sergei Sobyanin during a visit to the City Clinical Hospital No. 1 named after Pirogov.
Recall that it was on the basis of the blood plasma of those who had recovered that the drug “covid-globulin” was created, which, according to Rostec, can be used against existing and circulating strains of coronavirus.
Also in Moscow, a paid donor receives about two thousand for blood and almost four thousand for plasma. Separate tariffs are set for whole blood with a rare phenotype, platelets and erythrocytes.
• What are the benefits for blood donors • Tatyana Gaponova: Switching to free donation increased the safety of donations
Payments will not be canceled
Despite the fact that the concept primarily involves an increase in gratuitous donation, there are no plans to cancel payments for blood and plasma in Russia, the deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Health Protection told Parliamentary Newspaper Tatyana Solomatina. “Blood is always needed. The number of donors, both free and paid, is growing year by year,” the deputy said. “This is a built-in system, and no one is going to break it.”
In the current conditions, blood and plasma donors, on the contrary, need to be supported, Solomatina believes. It can be not only federal, but also regional benefits, such as discounts on utility bills and others.
“We in the State Duma support initiatives aimed at increasing the number of blood donors,” said Tatyana Solomatina. “And such new measures are proposed regularly.” For example, at the beginning of this February, the Cabinet of Ministers updated the regulations on the “Honorary Donor” badge.
Also in October last year, a law came into force that allows drug manufacturers that do not belong to state medical organizations to transport donated blood and its components, as well as store plasma until it is converted into a pharmaceutical substance.
How many donors in total
Meanwhile, experts remind that blood donation is one of the most important types of charity. The procedure itself does not harm human health in any way, while it can save someone’s life. For example, in the National Medical Research Center for Hematology, paid donations were completely abandoned back in 2015. Such a policy allowed the center to attract socially responsible donors, the first deputy general director of the National Research Center told Parliamentary Newspaper earlier. Tatyana Gaponova. “As a result, since 2015, there has not been a single case of transmission of a hemotransmissible infection to a patient at the National Medical Research Center for Hematology. For us, this is a very valuable indicator. It is important to keep people willing to help those who are in trouble,” she said.
Almost any healthy person can donate blood, if he is over 18 years old, has no contraindications to this procedure, and his weight is more than 50 kilograms. Men can donate blood no more than five times a year, and women four. According to public services, in 2022 there were 1,425,005 donors in Russia. Together they donated blood 3,036,049 times.