Advocacy group presses N.S. government to ban private plasma companies

A national advocacy group is pressing the Nova Scotia government to ban private, for-profit plasma companies from setting up in the province.

Kat Lanteigne of BloodWatch.org planned to meet with provincial Health Minister Randy Delorey Tuesday to urge him to introduce legislation prohibiting them.

She says unless the province adopts such a law, it would not be able to stop to companies like Canadian Plasma Resources from opening because it has an operating licence from Health Canada.

Lanteigne, who is starting a cross-country tour in Halifax, says Ontario, Alberta and Quebec have already legislated such bans.

She says allowing a private blood supply system contravenes the recommendations of the Krever inquiry, a royal commission struck to look into Canada's blood supplies after thousands of Canadians were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C from tainted blood and blood products in the mid-1980s to 1990.

Private, paid-plasma clinics now operate in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, where Canadian Plasma Resources pays donors up to $50 for each donation.