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Greece’s Health Ministry to commercialize “blood” and “plasma”

Greece’s Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis will commercialize donated blood and blood plasma by allowing the operation of private collection centers. he is currently preparing a legislation to allow the commercial use of blood and blood plasma in private centers, where donors will be also compensated.

An exclusive report by news website in.gr revealed on Wednesday that the Health Ministry has given the green light for the creation of private blood plasma collection centers and that a draft law essentially turns blood into a commercial product has been prepared for this purpose..

As in.gr revealed, the draft law provides for the extension of the privatization of public health to blood as well.

The compensation to donors are tax-free and non-seizable and aims to cover the hours of work they lost during the donation.

It should be noted that the competence and responsibility for the collection, disposal and management of blood and its components for transfusion or fractionation belongs to the National Blood Donation Center and the Blood Centers for blood donation service in the hospitals with a legislation of 2005.

With the draft law, it will be possible for Municipalities and the Church, for Private Law Legal Entities as well as for Non-Governmental Organizations of  non-profit nature, to establish private blood collection centers for transfusion or fractionation, as well as plasma collection centers to fractionate.

The draft law is allegedly based on the European Regulation approved at the end of April for “substances of human origin.” However, “the relevant draft law is far from the EU Regulation that should be applied,” in.gr underlined.

The European Regulation aims at the uniform management of blood, plasma, tissues and cells for transplants in Europe, while the draft law of the Greek Health Ministry deals only with the regulation of the commercial activity of companies that will produce medicines using the plasma that will collected by Greek donors as “raw material.”

In this context, the government plans to remove the responsibilities from the National Blood Center (EKEA) and transfer them to a new Independent Authority that will be created.

The draft law is still under development process.

PS Of course, neither municipalities nor the church or any other facility can afford to maintain a fully equipped blood bank and laboratory, so they will most likely be sued as “blood collection centers.” It is not clear yet whether these products will be sold to pharma companies and at what price, whether patients in need of blood and plasma will be able to buy them and what is the compensation for donation.

Much to my knowledge, civil servants would receive 3 days off for blood donation. IN contrast, private sector workers would be fit to return to work right after a glass of orange juice.

KTG will keep you posted when it’s tabled to the Parliament.

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One comment

  1. Is there still a ban on anybody donating blood in Greece if they lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996 (or thereabouts) for fear of passing on vCJD? There was a similar ban in the USA but it was lifted in 2023. I wondered if Greece had also lifted it?