The state blood transfusion council (SBTC) on Monday decided to start a manufacturing unit to produce two components of blood required by haemophilia patients, and distribute them at a subsidised rate.
State health minister Suresh Shetty and additional principal secretary (health) TC Benjamin took a decision to this effect on Monday.
A plasma fractionation centre will be set up at Aundh Chest Hospital, Pune, where Factor VII and IX apart from other components of blood will be manufactured.
Haemophilia is a genetic disorder that impairs the body’s ability to control blood clotting. Presently, patients spend between Rs4 lakh and Rs7 lakh a year on treatment.
“Of the plasma separated from blood, only around 30% to 40% is used and around 60% can be stored. Our blood banks produce around 1 lakh litre of plasma every year. We are planning to have a 20,000-litre processing unit,” said Dr Sanjay Jadhav, additional director, SBTC.
Other products such as immunoglobulin G, used for conditions such as liver cirrhosis and nephrotic syndrome will also be produced, said Dr Jadhav.
Also, the National Plasma Fractionation Centre (NPFC) at KEM Hospital, Parel, is currently being refurbished.
“Making Factor VII and Factor IX is a highly specialised technique. The viral inactivation process is still patented. Let’s hope the state overcomes these difficulties and manufactures the components,” said Anil Lalwani, former president of Hemophilia Federation of India.
The SBTC has also decided to start 10 more metro blood banks, on the lines of JJ Mahanagar Raktapedhi, and aims to collect 10,000 bottles of blood every year.
It also plans to run a training institute for doctors, paramedics and technicians running the blood bank at Kharghar, and will push state blood banks towards accreditation under the Quality Council of India to ensure quality and uniformity of standards.
However, haemophilia patients allege that the state is only trying to counter their public interest litigation in the Bombay high court for free treatment.
“The state has not given a reply for two hearings now. The next hearing is on Thursday. This is their tactic to wash their hands of our demand for free treatment,” said Paresh Parmar, secretary, Haemophilia Society, Mumbai Chapter.