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Dangerous Shortage of Drug for China Hemophiliacs

by Hannah Punitha on Sep 15 2007 7:02 PM

Dangerous Shortage of Drug for China Hemophiliacs
In it's efforts to clean up an unsafe blood supply chain, blamed for many HIV infections, China is right now facing a haemophilia drug crisis.
Some hemophiliacs in China had died since July because they could not get any factor 8 -- a protein necessary for blood clotting -- to stop bleeding, the Beijing News said on Friday.

The shortage was caused by shrinking plasma supplies after the government launched a campaign in 2004 to shut down small blood collection centers and beef up safety measures in the manufacture of blood-based drugs, the newspaper said.

Plasma made into the drugs in the country had dropped from up to 5,000 tones to less than 3,000 tones a year, it added. Plasma procured now also needs to be stored for 90 days and screened for HIV or Hepatitis C before being processed.

Even big hospitals in major cities had little or no stocks of factor 8 as only three pharmaceutical companies in China were still making the drug, the Beijing News said.

The situation has prompted a dozen mutual-help groups of hemophiliacs to write an open letter seeking help from state leaders.

"We appeal to the government to take urgent action to import large amounts of factor 8 from abroad and save the lives of Chinese hemophilia sufferers," said the letter addressed to President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

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Source: Reuters

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