A local MLA is looking to ensure Alberta has a healthy supply of plasma needed for medication.
Tany Yao, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, is introducing Bill 204 which looks to repeal the ‘Voluntary Blood Act’ which was passed into law by the NDP in 2017.
According to Yao, the act only allows Canadian Blood Services to pay for plasma and other blood products and they want to give more opporunities to other organizations.
“It’s just a very ideological bill the NDP put in and by repealing this we’re going to worl towards ensuring we have a safe supply.”
Plasma is over half of the human blood volume and can be turned into medication.
Yao says this is about ensuring we depend less on international supply.
“Repealing the bill would be about ensuring we have a safe supply of this medication as we currently import most of it from the United States. A lot of companies take the product and turn it into medication and we’d like to attract them to start developing those medications here.”
Canada, as a whole, only supplies 13.5 per cent of the plasma needed for the production of plasma therapies.
While not specifically aimed at COVID-19, Yao adds the pandemic and the immune globulin shortage the country faced in 2019 are prime examples as to why they need to increase supply.