An Economic Analysis of Global Policy Proposals to Prohibit Compensation of Blood Plasma Donors
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© 2016 International Journal of the Economics of Business.Human blood plasma and its derivative therapies have been used therapeutically for more than 50 years, after first being widely used to treat injuries during World War II. In certain countries, manufacturers of these therapies – known as plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMPs) – compensate plasma donors, raising healthcare and ethical concerns among some parties. In particular, the World Health Organization has taken a strong advocacy position that compensation for blood donations should be eliminated worldwide. This review evaluates the key economic factors underlying the supply and demand for PDMPs and the evidence pointing to the policy options that are most likely to maintain a reliable supply of life-sustaining therapies. It concludes that compensated plasma donation is important for maintaining adequate and consistent supplies of plasma and limits the risk of under-treatment for the foreseeable future.