Wall Street Journal: Letter to the Editor
On 3 May 2020, The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “Researchers Explore Using Common Blood-Plasma Treatment to Fight Coronavirus.” The article discussed the increasing use of IVIG as a treatment for COVID-19 patients and the potential impact such use could have on patients who rely on regular access to immune globulin therapies. In response, the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) submitted a “Letter to the Editor” addressing the importance of IVIG for patients with rare diseases and the essential nature of plasma donation.
The article published May 3, “Researchers Explore Using Common Blood-Plasma Treatment to Fight Coronavirus,” calls necessary attention to the importance of intravenous immunoglobulin, IVIG, as a lifesaving therapy for people living with a range of serious, genetic, and chronic conditions. Increased use of IVIG as an untested treatment against COVID-19 risks limiting its availability for those patients whose lives rely on regular access to it. For many of these conditions, IVIG remains the only known treatment.
What makes IVIG unique amongst many other pharmaceutical drugs is that its availability is contingent on the dedication and commitment of people willing to donate their plasma. As a plasma-derived therapy, pharmaceutical companies rely on plasma from donors to manufacture the treatments during a complex process that can take up to a year. Without healthy plasma donors, patients’ lives are at serious risk. Plasma donors, quite literally, save lives.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted plasma donation across the country. The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association calls on all healthy people to visit www.donatingplasma.org to learn more about plasma donation, the diseases treated by access to plasma-derived therapies, and to find a donation center near them.