UK regulator lifts ban on using blood plasma for albumin treatments

LONDON: Britain’s medicines regulator on Monday lifted a ban on using blood plasma from UK-based donors for deriving albumin, which is used in critically ill patients to replace blood loss from severe injuries and treat diseases like sepsis.

The ban on plasma-derived medicinal products in the UK was imposed in 1999 as a safety precaution against the spread of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD) – a rare, rapidly worsening brain disorder.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said following further review of the evidence, the Commission on Human Medicines – an independent working group advising UK ministers – had also recommended lifting the ban.

The state-run national health service (NHS) has relied exclusively on imported plasma-derived products, primarily from the United States because of the ban.

A ban on using UK donor plasma to make immunoglobulins, another type of plasma-derived medicinal product was lifted in 2020. — Reuters

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