Statement from Health Canada – Final Report of the Expert Panel on Immune Globulin Product Supply and Related Impacts in Canada


May 23, 2018   Ottawa, ON   Health Canada

Protecting the safety and security of Canada's blood supply and blood products is a priority for Health Canada. Many Canadians rely on life-saving products made from human plasma, including immune globulins, to treat various health conditions. 

In 2017, Health Canada established an Expert Panel to provide an evidence-based assessment of the sustainability of Canada's immune globulin supply in an increasingly competitive global market, and of the potential impact on the blood supply if commercial plasma collection expanded significantly in Canada. The final report of the Expert Panel on Immune Globulin Product Supply and Related Impacts in Canada is now available. Among its findings, the report concludes that: 

  • There is no crisis related to the supply of immune globulins for Canadians. Supply is expected to meet demand through the medium term.
  • Even so, more could be done to both reduce inappropriate use (lower the demand) and collect more plasma in Canada (increase the supply). 
  • There is no evidence to suggest that commercial plasma collection negatively affects the supply of whole blood, but ongoing monitoring will be needed.
  • Plasma products, including immune globulins, are very safe. There have been no confirmed cases of disease transmission through plasma products in more than 20 years, which reflects effective regulation and oversight. 

The Panel consisted of two members supported by two special advisors who collectively possess the relevant domestic and international expertise and experience. From August 2017 to March 2018, the Panel engaged a wide range of experts and stakeholders, attended international conferences, undertook a literature review, and solicited input from provinces, territories, federal officials and the National Advisory Committee on Blood and Blood Products.

Health Canada will take the time necessary to review the Expert Panel’s findings and will work with its partners—the provinces and territories, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) and Héma-Québec—to determine the best path forward to ensure Canadians continue to have access to safe blood and blood products when they need them.

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