IPFA 4th ASIA Workshop on Plasma Quality and Supply
Report of Workshop
IPFA was honoured to be invited to hold its 4th Asia Workshop on plasma quality and supply in Hanoi, Vietnam on 6 and 7 March 2019.
The workshop was hosted by and jointly organized with Vietnam’s National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) with the aim of contributing to the further development of policies and strategies to increase patient access to a safe and secure supply of Plasma Derived Medicinal Products (PDMPs) in Vietnam and the surrounding region.
This partnership with NIHBT ensured that the programme was relevant, instructive and informative for delegates from the country, the region and wider international colleagues. The meeting was attended by approximately 175 delegates from 21 countries – both from the Asia region and the wider international community. Importantly the workshop was supported and generously sponsored by supporting stakeholder industry in the region and on behalf of all delegates we once again express our gratitude for this support and involvement in our activities.
Setting the Scene and Meeting Patient Needs
We were pleased to welcome Professor Thierry Burnouf to the meeting to outline the key technical and organizational issues to be considered when developing programmes for National/Regional plasma collection and PDMP supply. Professor Burnouf has been a regular and enthusiastic participant in our Asia Workshops and he once again offered an informative and stimulating overview which ‘set the scene’ for subsequent sessions and discussions throughout the workshop. This keynote presentation was complemented with an overview by Dr D T Pham from NIHBT of the status and organization of the blood and plasma supply to meet current patient needs in the country and challenges for the future.
Planning for the supply of essential Plasma Derived Medicinal Products (PDMPs) must always be underpinned by an understanding of patient needs and local health care priorities. These considerations were examined in Session 2 for two key patient populations (Haemophilia and PID) from both a local and wider global (WFH) perspective. Despite on-going improvements in patient diagnosis and organisation of care access to affordable supply of PDMPs for their treatment remains a significant challenge for the healthcare providers.
Albumin remains a key PDMP for patient care in Vietnam and the wider Asia region with per capita usage higher than other regions of the world. The experience and success in Japan of reducing albumin use (three fold) through development and application of evidence based guidelines offers a useful example and model for the wider region.
Quality and Compliance – Practical Issues and Considerations
IPFA Asia workshops continue to highlight the critical importance of the development and implementation of quality systems and GMP compliance to meet strict international regulatory standards for ‘plasma for fractionation’. This is a key step towards increased supply of plasma and PDMPs.
A series of presentations addressed this topic from educational, regulatory and technical perspectives and also by sharing the experience of others in the region (Indonesia). The presentations and discussions in these sessions successfully identified the necessary goals, objectives and benefits of GMP compliance and the actions necessary to achieve these goals – including the need for management and government commitment and continued international cooperation and support.
Contributions from Industry
It is a tradition and important part of IPFA meetings to include stakeholder industries in the planning and content of our meetings and this workshop was no exception. We are always grateful to industry for their sponsorship and support for our meetings but also for their contribution to the scientific programme which opened day two of the meeting with presentations from Abbott, Merck and Roche on key technical developments and policies and strategies in their respective companies in support of programmes in the region.
Transfusion Transmitted Infections and Screening Strategies
Strategies for the prevention of TTIs by both blood components and PDMPs remains a key feature of blood/plasma collection, quality and safety programmes. Collection of plasma and its acceptability for fractionation requires evidence of effective screening programmes for transmissible agents. Session 6 of the workshop considered the experience and strategies of three countries in the region (Taiwan, Vietnam and Singapore) and concluded with an overview of NAT and serological screening strategies and their control.
Towards an Increased Plasma Supply
The remainder of the meeting (sessions 7 and 8) focused on Donor Recruitment, Plasma Collection and Strategic options for PDMP supply. We were delighted that the programme was able to include contributions describing local initiatives and also the experiences of organisations with well-established plasma collection programmes and strategies for PDMP supply. In particular the experience of organisations in the region of both ‘Toll’ manufacture and local fractionation were instructive in highlighting the essential prerequisite for a high quality and regulated supply of plasma. The sharing of such experiences is as always regarded as a key element of IPFA Plasma workshops and known to be highly appreciated by meeting participants.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
IPFA was privileged to be invited by the Vietnam National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) to hold this workshop in Hanoi and we sincerely thank them for hosting the meeting and contributing so enthusiastically and helpfully to its organization. IPFA has made many friends and new colleagues. As always we sincerely thank our industry sponsors for their support for the meeting – without which the meeting could not have taken place. Presentations to the meeting were consistently relevant, thoughtful, stimulating and generous in their sharing of ideas and experiences and we are as always very grateful for the time and effort spent by participants in making the meeting a success! Finally our important thanks to all delegates for attending and supporting the meeting.
As announced at the meeting the proceedings are publicly available on the IPFA website. Please see below.