A private commerical plasma donation facility called Canadian Plasma Resources will soon be opening in Saskatoon and will compensate all donors.

Provincial Health Minister Dustin Duncan says compensation for plasma donation is not new.

"The majority of plasma products that are based on the plasma protein comes from paid donors in other countries. Eighty percent of our product comes mostly from the United States and some in Europe. We already rely heavily on the paid plasma donor system, it just happens to take place in another country."

As a country, Canada spends nearly one billion dollars a year on purchasing plasma products and most of those are derived from paying people for donations. Duncan adds the facility will go through Health Canada to have the site licensed and will also be going through the good manufacturing process guidelines laid out by Health Canada.

Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Hemophilia Society both support the paid donation system for plasma products as part of a regulated system.

Duncan says plasma donation is a more lengthy process then blood donation.

"Plasma takes longer than donating blood so it's more of an inconvenience and that's why we are just not self-sufficient when it comes to Canadians donating plasma products. We only collect about twenty percent of our need from Canadians. This is just another way to try and increase our numbers but we will always be reliant upon products that are made from plasma that comes from a paid donor."

Plasma is collected to produce very specific plasma protein based cancer drugs.

According to Duncan, unlike Ontario and Quebec, Saskatchewan will not be putting in place legislation prohibiting people from getting money for plasma donation as the process occurs in other countries.

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