Blood

Health written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Brian Iddon Brian Iddon Labour, Bolton South East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that haemophilia patients will not be required to switch blood products as a consequence of the outcome of his Department's recent tendering exercise in respect of blood products.

Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health

Patients with haemophilia are no longer generally treated with products manufactured from human plasma (blood products). Almost all are now treated with recombinant (biosynthetic) factor VIII. It is expected that about 50 per cent. of patients will change from one brand of recombinant product to another, following the tendering exercise.

Some small children with haemophilia will not change products either because they have always been treated with the same brand or because they are having treatment for a factor VIII inhibitor. Patients have now been notified by their haemophilia centres of the proposal to either change their brand or to continue to prescribe the brand that they are already receiving and to invite them to consult the centre if they have any concerns.

The tender has taken place with the full support and active involvement of the Haemophilia Society representing patients and the UK Haemophilia Centre Doctors' Organisation (UKHCDO). UKHCDO have advised that all of the available brands of recombinant products are equally safe and effective.

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