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Blood Plasma Services To Be Privatised In Move To Make Millions Profit For Treasury

The evil of the Tory-led coalition government has no bounds, as they now intend to sell-off the major supplier of blood to the NHS.

Having previously ditched the idea of privatising the National Blood Transfusion Service, Andrew Lansley and his government cronies at the Department of Health has appointed Lazard, the investment bank, to explore the privatisation of Plasma Resources UK (PRUK) in a move that could raise tens of millions of pounds for the Treasury.

Cameron Vamp picPRUK also supplies blood plasma to a number of international health bodies, and owns a US-based plasma supply company called DCI Inc and operates a production facility in the UK called Bio Products Laboratory Limited.

Once again the Tories wish to emulate the USA healthcare system, and privatising the supply of blood to the NHS for operations and blood transfusions is the next step.

The privatisation of the UK’s supplier of blood plasma will alarm patient care groups, and all users of the NHS.  
The country's principal blood plasma supplier to the NHS, an essential life-saving service to thousands of patients who require blood transfusions, being transferred to private ownership is a cynical and appalling exploitation for profit of the ill and infirm and all of us who may require blood at some point in our lives.

But the issue begs further questions: in being a blood donor, have you handed over your blood to become a profitable commodity? For that is precisely what blood donors will now become – a free source of profit as the blood is collected by the NHS, and given free of charge to a privatised company!

In the US donors sell their blood and the screening of it by private companies has been a major source of controversy as it led to the passing on of HIV/AIDS to patients having blood transfusions with contaminated blood supplies both in the USA and here in the UK.

Similarly there were cases of people contracting, again through contaminated blood supplies, CJD the human form of mad cow’s disease. The disease is now beginning to raise its ugly head again in the media this week.

A privatised company will not wish to spend money on expensive screening of blood plasma sources and many fear that blood contamination will once again become a problem in the UK as it still is in the USA and many countries around the world.

The current plans of the Tory-led coalition government to continue with its political aim of privatising the majority of the NHS and its suppliers continues unabated and unchallenged or reported by the TV news media.

In a written statement in the House of Commons on 13th July, Simon Burns, the health minister, made a statement advising the House of the need for the sale of Plasma Resources UK. Taken from Hansard, the official record of all activity in the House Of Commons and The Lords, this is the full statement from Mr Simon Burns, the health minister made on 13th July:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Mr Simon Burns):

I am announcing today that the Government will be exploring new opportunities for the future development of our government-owned limited company, Plasma Resources UK Ltd (PRUK).

The Department has successfully completed the first stages of the combination of its plasma products companies; which consist of the UK based fractionation facility Bio Products Laboratory Ltd (BPL) and the US based plasma supply company, DCI Inc. These two companies have been brought together under the Department of Health owned parent company PRUK.

Click to sign petitionLooking forward to the next phase of development, we have carefully examined the strategic options that will best allow the companies to grow and be successful in an established global industry, whilst also seeking to ensure jobs are maintained in the bioscience sector of the economy.

To ensure the continued success of PRUK, the future business strategy should address the need for investment in BPL’s specialist plant and skilled workforce in order to create more advanced products. PRUK should also continue to harness the potential of the US-based operations at DCI Inc which is well placed to develop its own portfolio. This requirement for further investment comes at a time when the Department of Health and the NHS is facing ever-increasing demands on its resources and must focus on delivering its front-line services.

Our conclusion is therefore that we will now assess development opportunities in conjunction with the private sector, seeking to gain a valuable contribution from not only a financial perspective, but also their operational expertise.
We have therefore appointed financial advisers to consider the most appropriate level of department ownership to deliver the Department’s objectives.

This work will examine, in detail, the sale of all or part of the business, as well as other structures, to determine the best solution for the business, its employees, the NHS and taxpayers. Any future partner or investor would be chosen through a fair and open process and will be able to demonstrate the necessary skills, experience and resources to work with the companies to help them realise their potential and to develop their range of products.

As part of this process, we will be ensuring that any option continues to safeguard the interests of patients, that supplies of current products are secure and that resources are available to develop new products, such that NHS patients continue to receive the best possible care.

Those concerned about this issue will no doubt wish to sign a new E-petition with regard to the privatisation of Plasma Resources UK (PRUK).

You can sign the petition by clicking on the pic above.

Sources: Hansard / E-petition website / Health Protection Agency / Associated Press

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