It's In Us All to Save a Life


What is plasma?

Plasma is a key element of blood (55% of the total blood volume). Plasma is the clear straw-coloured liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components have been removed. Plasma carries water, salts, and proteins through the body.

More and more patients across the European Union are diagnosed every year with life-threatening plasma protein-related disorders.[1] This means certain proteins in their body are missing or are deficient. In many cases, Plasma Derived Medicinal Products (PDMPs) are the only treatment option for these severe diseases.

Why is plasma important?

  • Patients across Europe rely on Plasma Derived Medicinal Products (to treat a variety of rare and chronic and/or genetic diseases and serious, often life-threatening medical conditions). 
  • For individuals with these conditions, Plasma Derived Medicinal Products replace their missing or deficient proteins.

  • Without these treatments, many patients would either not be able to survive or would have a substantially diminished quality of life and productivity.

  • Human plasma is the unique and indispensable starting material for the manufacturing of plasma-derived medicinal products.

  • Every year, more plasma donations are needed to meet the growing clinical need for plasma-derived medicinal products.

  • It is worth noting that it takes more than 130 donations per year to treat a single patient with a primary immune deficiency.

  • Convalescent plasma and Hyper Immune plasma are plasma that is collected from patients who have recovered form an infection. Antibodies present in the plasma are proteins that might help fight the infection.

Where does plasma come from in Europe?

  • Plasma cannot be made artificially in a lab. Plasma and its lifesaving proteins can only be obtained from healthy donors who generously give their time to donate.
  • Plasma can be obtained from whole blood donations (resulting in recovered plasma) or collected directly through a process called plasmapheresis (resulting in source plasma).

In Europe, 39% of plasma is collected by public and NGO blood-collection services (mainly via recovered plasma)
24% is collected through plasmapheresis by the private sector in Europe
For the remaining need of 37%, Europe is reliant on imported plasma collected in the United States

Plasma donations were in some decline this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the related uncertainty felt by plasma donors. This comes on top of the existing insufficient availability of European plasma. Declines in donations have the potential to restrict patients’ access to plasma derived therapies. We need your support!

How can you help?

It’s easier than you think. #DonatePlasma The good news is it’s in us all to save a life.

  • If you consider more plasma should be collected across Europe, to meet the growing need of patients for PDMPs
  • If you want to ask policymakers to put in place the most appropriate EU or national policy frameworks leading to significantly increased plasma collection in Europe

About us

The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) is steadfast in its mission to promote the availability of, and access to, safe and effective plasma protein therapies for patients around the world.

[1] immune deficiencies, immune-mediated peripheral neuropathies, Hereditary Angioedema, Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiencies, Hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, and also secondary immune deficiencies that can be caused by cancer therapies.