July 05, 2017

Martine Pergent speaks on Safeguarding Blood Safety at WHO event

IPOPI’s Vice Chair, Mrs Martine Pergent, was invited to speak at an event on “Safeguarding Blood Safety for multi-transfused patients”, organised by the Thalassaemia International Federation on May 26, during the World Health Organisation (WHO) General Assembly in Geneva.

Mrs Pergent presented IPOPI’s and PLUS’ (Platform of Plasma Protein Users) views on the topic of blood and plasma safety. She stressed that blood and plasma (and their derived products) require different approaches and policies, reminding the audience about the increased demand for plasma-derived medicinal products and highlighting the importance of involving patients in policy decision making.

IPOPI and PLUS defend that blood/blood products and plasma/plasma products should be approached with different policies. The vast majority of plasma products produced by the main manufacturers are subjected to European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) or/and United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval and have proven to be safe, with no viral transmission since 1994.
There is an increased demand of plasma-derived medicinal products and yet, in many parts of the world, patients are not able to access treatment. Mrs Pergent pointed out that advocacy to increase blood and plasma donations and use of recovered plasma as well as remaining flexible with donor policies, as long as safety is fully respected, should be the way forward.
Lastly but importantly, Mrs Pergent stressed that policy makers (WHO or national governments) need to involve patients in any decision making that affects them and the treatments they receive.


Several high-level speakers were present at the meeting, such as representatives from Cyprus and Pakistan, the Head of the Hellenic Coordinating Haemovigilance Centre as well as delegates from the World Health Organisation, the European Haemophilia Consortium (EHC), the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), the International Alliance of Patient Organisations (IAPO), the International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT) and the Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (WBMT).

The discussions during the meeting were very fruitful and participants reached an agreement to increase collaboration amongst patient and scientific societies participating at the meeting in the field of blood safety.
Stay tuned for more information on future developments!


Martine Pergent speaking at the meeting

WHO General Assembly