- The government was last night facing the embarrassing
prospect of a "treatment strike" by growing numbers of haemophiliacs
seeking to shame ministers into paying for safer blood clotting agents.
- As the government sought to calm protests over the way
haemophiliacs, as late as 1997, had been exposed to potential infection
from the human form of BSE, the Department of Health said patients should
first consult their GPs.
- People with haemophilia are furious that for the third
time in just over three years patients are being told that they have used
products that have been found to include material from a variant CJD victim.
- The news, first reported in the Guardian this month,
has forced ministers to consider whether to give adult haemophiliacs in
England access to laboratory-made alternatives, as happened for children
in Britain, and for adults in both Scotland and Wales.
- The Haemophilia Society said it had heard more patients
were refusing treatment with clotting factor from human sources and joining
networks that allow patients who do get the synthetic type, called recombinant,
to send part of their dose to others without it.
- This is almost certainly illegal. But one patient who
did this in the autumn forced his local health authority to pay for the
more expensive recombinant factor.
- Karin Pappenheim, director of the Haemophilia Society,
said it was not clear how many people might be affected by the postcode
lottery over access to clotting treatment, but it could be as high as 2000.
- The government ordered the import of most blood plasma
products two years ago because of the theoretical risk of infection by
donors who had vCJD. Thirteen of the 88 known vCJD victims had been blood
donors. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said that the risk of
vCJD from existing clotting factors was "unsubstantiated".
Site Served by TheHostPros