The ministry of health & family welfare has identified two major initiatives towards better utilisation of blood and blood components, as part of its commitment to ensure safe blood and enhanced access to blood products, on the recommendation of the National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC).
The first step is permitting the transfer of blood from one blood bank to another. This was not allowed earlier and will help in transfer of blood to places of scarcity. Detailed guidelines for proper and efficient transport of blood between banks have been prescribed.
The second step is fixing of an exchange value for surplus plasma available at some blood banks in the country. In the absence of the enabling provision, surplus plasma was traded or sold by the blood banks without any regulation whatsoever. Now an exchange value of Rs.1600 per litre of plasma has been fixed and the blood banks with surplus plasma can exchange it for consumables, equipments etc. or plasma derived products, as per their need. This exchange, however, cannot be in terms of cash. This step is expected to increase the availability of essential life saving medicines like human albumin, immunoglobulins, clotting factors, etc. which are all derived from plasma. This step would also reduce the country’s dependence on import of these products.
The National Blood Transfusion Council under the ministry of health & family welfare is the apex body for formulating policy matters pertaining to the organisation, operation, standards and training of a sustainable and safe blood transfusion service for the country, set up under the directions of the Supreme Court of India.