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Proposed paid-plasma clinic for N.B. moving forward despite strong opposition

blood plasma
Blood and plasma bags are pictured at a blood collection centre. ProMetic Life Sciences says it's reached a 15-year agreement for a Winnipeg manufacturing plant to process medical plasma using the company's proprietary purification method. Marion Berard / AFP / Getty Images

There was an emotional call Tuesday for the Gallant government to stop a privately-operated plasma collection from setting up shop in New Brunswick.

Canadian Plasma Resources (CPS) says it has met with the province about setting up a facility in Moncton which would compensate blood donors.

“The plasma that is collected by a private blood broker will be exported out of Canada for sale,” said Kat Lanteigne of BloodWatch.org.

“This is absolutely outrageous and it’s dangerous.”

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Lenteigne says she is fundamentally opposed to paid-plasma donation.

READ MORE: Pay for plasma: Calls for and against it from those affected

The proposed clinic is licensed by Health Canada and will compensate plasma donors with 25 dollars per donation.

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Opponents say a paid-plasma clinic will create competition for Canadian Blood Services and put the voluntary system in jeopardy. However, CPS says Canadians are already receiving blood that’s not voluntary donated.

“More than 80 per cent of the plasma protein products used in this country are coming from the private sector and from paid donors,” said CEO Dr. Barzin Bahardoust. “It just happens to be that those are American donors.”

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Canadian Blood Services has recently stated it would not be purchasing plasma from Canadian Plasma Resources.

Lanteigne says the practice of paying for blood contravenes the Krever inquiry on the tainted blood scandal.

“Selling off the blood of New Brunswickers — that will undermine our voluntary blood system for a handful of jobs, after 8,000 people will die in this country because of tainted blood is absolutely objectionable,” she said.

READ MORE: Pay for plasma: The ethical debate

Lanteigne says she’s been unable to secure a meeting with the government on the issue. The province seems prepared to keep moving forward with the plan.

“Even if Canadian Blood Services doubled or tripled their collection, its still not enough to satisfy the demand we have as Canadians, so that’s why I do believe there’s a role for these private clinics to play,” Health Minister Victor Boudreau said.

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Canadian Plasma Services says it would like to be operating in Moncton in 2017.