An open letter to Minister Rona Ambrose re: the unapproved operation of Canadian Plasma Resources

April 2, 2014

Dear Minister Ambrose,

As supporters of safety and transparency in our public health care system, we are writing to encourage you to take action against the collection of human plasma being carried out by Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) in Toronto.

You are no doubt aware of Ontario’s recent commitment to legislate against the sale of plasma in the province, and that the proposed legislation, the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, is currently in the second reading debate stage.

Despite this, and despite the lack of approval from Health Canada, CPR has opened their facility on Adelaide Street in Toronto and has begun collecting plasma.

This action is controversial: according to CPR’s chief executive, collection at their facility does not fall under the Laboratory and Specimen Collection Centre Licensing Act. But according to Minister Matthews and the province, even if CPR’s intentions are to only collect for research purposes, a provincial license is obligatory.  

Regardless, it is explicitly clear that CPR’s actions contradict the publicly established intentions of the province, and that they are operating in open defiance of the many health organizations, including Canadian Doctors for Medicare, who voiced legitimate concerns over public safety when the company’s plans were first uncovered.

CPR is operating without regulatory authorization, and their insistence on moving forward without provincial or federal approval is a substantial public health concern.

We are asking the federal government and Health Canada to intervene in this matter, and to put an immediate stop to these actions by denying any license to a facility located in a province clearly intent on banning paid donations.

Sincerely,

Dr. Monika Dutt

Chair, Canadian Doctors for Medicare