It's In Us All to Save a Life

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What is plasma?

Plasma is a key element of blood (55% of the total blood volume). Plasma is the clear straw-coloured liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components have been removed. Plasma carries water, salts, and proteins through the body.

More and more patients across the European Union are diagnosed every year with life-threatening plasma protein-related disorders.[1] This means certain proteins in their body are missing or are deficient. In many cases, plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMPs) are the only treatment option for these severe diseases.

Why is plasma important?

  • Patients across Europe rely on plasma-derived medicinal products (to treat a variety of rare and chronic and/or genetic diseases and serious, often life-threatening medical conditions).

  • For individuals with these conditions, plasma-derived medicinal products replace their missing or deficient proteins.

  • Without these treatments, many patients would either not be able to survive or would have a substantially diminished quality of life and productivity.

  • Human plasma is the unique and indispensable starting material for the manufacturing of plasma-derived medicinal products.
  • Every year, more plasma donations are needed to meet the growing clinical need for plasma-derived medicinal products.
  • It is worth noting that it takes more than 130 donations per year to treat a single patient with a primary immune deficiency.
  • Convalescent plasma and Hyper Immune plasma are plasma that is collected from patients who have recovered form an infection. Antibodies present in the plasma are proteins that might help fight the infection.
“We need to raise awareness on the importance of donating plasma across the EU, especially during this pandemic.”
MEP Claudia Gamon, Renew Europe (Austria)
“Donors can save lives. They can save many lives with plasma.”
Jean-Philippe, living with CIDP
“Healthcare stakeholders are all striving to ensure access to treatments for patients across Europe and globally! We can do our bit by donating plasma and support those who have to manage rare diseases while in the midst of a global pandemic.”
Monika Derecque-Pois, Belgium
“Plasma donations are essential to helping individuals with plasma protein deficiencies and abnormalities. Let's make sure that every patient receives appropriate care.”
MEP Maria Carvalho, EPP (Portugal)
“More plasma collection would give me security: to get a clean vision of tomorrow.”
Frank Willersinn, living with Alpha-1
“We need to enhance plasma donation as the diseases and conditions treated by plasma protein therapies affect a relatively small percent of population. Most are genetic, chronic conditions. During this pandemic, let's think about others.”
MEP Helmut Geuking, ECR (Germany)
“Europe needs to collect more plasma to respond to the growing clinical need for PDMPs. And policies must facilitate the collection of more plasma in the EU.”
Oliver Schmitt, General Manager CSL Behring Italy and Chair of PPTA EU Board
“All over the world, vital plasma-derived medicines are in short supply, so if we can contribute more, we should.”
David B. MacIntosh, United Kingdom Plasma Action
MEP Manuel Pizarro, S&D (Portugal)
“It is crucial to promote the idea that plasma donation means helping others. Donation is an act of generosity where the more you give, the more satisfaction you receive.”
Maria Teresa Parisotto, ESNO

The pictures and quotes from patients, policymakers, health care professionals and generous plasma donors are the result of the virtual exhibition that took place between 25 January and 28 February 2021.

Where does plasma come from in Europe?

  • Plasma cannot be made artificially in a lab. Plasma and its lifesaving proteins can only be obtained from healthy donors who generously give their time to donate.
  • Plasma can be obtained from whole blood donations (resulting in recovered plasma) or collected directly through a process called plasmapheresis (resulting in source plasma).

In Europe, 40% of plasma is collected by public and NGO blood-collection services (mainly via recovered plasma)

30% is collected through plasmapheresis by the private sector in Europe

For the remaining need of 30%, Europe is reliant on imported plasma collected in the United States

Plasma donations were in some decline this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the related uncertainty felt by plasma donors. This comes on top of the existing insufficient availability of European plasma. Declines in donations have the potential to restrict patients’ access to plasma derived therapies. We need your support!

How can you help?

It’s easier than you think. #DonatePlasma. The good news is it’s in us all to save a life.

  • If you consider more plasma should be collected across Europe, to meet the growing need of patients for PDMPs

  • If you want to ask policymakers to put in place the most appropriate EU or national policy frameworks leading to significantly increased plasma collection in Europe

Sign this Call for Support, which was already endorsed by:

Policymakers

  •  Claudia Gamon, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe (Austria)
  • Stelios Kympouropoulos, Member of the European Parliament, EPP (Greece)
  • César Luena, Member of the European Parliament, S&D (Spain)
  • Manuel Pizarro, Member of the European Parliament, S&D (Portugal)
  • Frédérique Ries, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe (Belgium)
  • Helmut Geuking, Member of the European Parliament, ECR (Germany)
  • Maria Carvalho, Member of the European Parliament, EPP (Portugal)
  • Loucas Fourlas, Member of the European Parliament, EPP (Cyprus)
  • Maria Spyraki, Member of the European Parliament, EPP (Greece)
  • Nils Torvalds, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe (Finland)

Advocacy Groups

  • Otilia Stanga, Patient organisation, Romania
  • Bernard Grimm, EuropaBio
  • Ingrid Jageneau, Debra Belgium, Belgium
  • Fernanda Aspilche Ferro, Belgium
  • Eva Schoeters, RaDiOrg, Belgium
  • Trisha Beahan, Austria

Patients

  • Danuta Tomkiewicz, Poland
  • Marta Zarajczyk, Poland
  • Daria Jully, Poland 
  • Agata Tobola, Poland 
  • Beata Garbaciak, Poland 
  • Justyna Kukuła, Poland
  • Frank Willersinn, Belgium 
  • Bernd Dobbert, Germany
  • Karin Modl, Austria 
  • Román Gómoz, Spain
  • Susana Moratilla Sanz, Spain
  • Paz Mompart, Spain
  • Jose Antonio Blanco Fernandez, Spain
  • Ma del Pilar del Rio, Spain
  • Lourdes, Pousada, Spain
  • Jose Drabwell, United Kingdom
  • Noémie Muller, France
  • Nadia Pennec, France
  • Sian van den Bogaerdt-Rance, Netherlands
  • Lucia Garcia, Spain
  • Magda Lourenço, United Kingdom
  • Gaelle Tanghe, Belgium
  • Marijke Huybrechts, Belgium

Donors

  • Nicole Schönfelder, Germany
  • Matthias Heck, Germany
  • Piotr Kolbusz, Poland
  • Amy Efantis, United States 
  • Hoda Varasteh Vala, Germany
  • Boczar Aleksandra, Poland 
  • Wilhelm Christian, Germany
  • Edith Weith, Germany
  • Josip Petrovic, Germany
  • Michael Fuhr, Germany
  • Manuel Martínez, Spain

Health Care Professionals

  • Uschi Bruchmeier, Germany
  • Barbara Cokic, Germany
  • Guilherme Ferreira, Portugal
  • Mary Uhlenhopp, Switzerland
  • Pilar Arroyo, Spain
  • Laura Ruth, United States
  • Magdalena Santo Tomás Pérez, Spain
  • José Antonio Cid Garcia, Spain
  • Kristel De Gauquier, Belgium
  • Adrienne van Strien, Netherlands
  • Nadine Stork-Heininger, Germany
  • Nizar Mahlaoui, France

Carers

  • Kim Zimmer, Germany
  • Isabel Garcia, Spain
  • Caroline Jacobs, Belgium
  • Merel Van Schandevijl, Belgium

Individuals

  • Jurate Svarcaite, Belgium
  • Javier Goyanes, Spain
  • Monika Derecque-Pois, Belgium
  • Marie Elena Cárdenas, Spain
  • Franziska Kunz, Germany
  • Ricardo Pereira, Portugal
  • Fernanda Aspilche Ferro, Belgium
  • Stephan Walsemann, Germany
  • Peter Jaworski (Georgetown University), United States
  • Heiko Brill, Germany

About us

The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) is steadfast in its mission to promote the availability of, and access to, safe and effective plasma protein therapies for patients around the world.

[1] immune deficiencies, immune-mediated peripheral neuropathies, Hereditary Angioedema, Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiencies, Hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, and also secondary immune deficiencies that can be caused by cancer therapies.

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