ISLAMABAD: The federal health ministry on Thursday signed an agreement with Hayat Biotech to boost plasma collection in Pakistan.

According to a statement, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost Pakistan’s plasma sector using a phased approach.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, global plasma shortage has become a serious concern. According to US-based Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA), a 20 per cent decline has been witnessed in plasma donations from 2019 to 2020 in the US.

The MoU was signed during the visit of Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel to the UAE.

Hayat Biotech, one of the leading biotechnology companies in the MENA region, has signed the MoU along with the office of Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, the statement added.

This will aid Pakistan’s efforts to establish a comprehensive plasma sector.

Plasma is the primary component used in manufacturing plasma-derived pharmaceutical products which treat a wide spectrum of rare, chronic, and potentially life-threatening health conditions.

Hayat Biotech will work closely with the health ministry to address the national shortage of plasma by establishing an end-to-end plasma collection entity within the country.

As per the MoU, the collection centres will be rolled out in phases while simultaneously building the technological capabilities and capacity for long-term operations in Pakistan.

The officials from both sides have said the move will help address the critical need for plasma-based therapies for the welfare of patients.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2023

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