by Hannah Punitha on  September 15, 2007 at 7:02 PM General Health News
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.

Source: Reuters

Source: IANS

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