Volume 4 Issue 17 - September 01, 2006

A ray of hope for Haemophilics - Health Ministry to set up P.F.U.

D.N.I.S. News Network – The Union Health Ministry has decided to set up India’s first Plasma Fortification Unit (P.F.U.) that will provide the life-saving F8 and F9 proteins to people having haemophilia.

This move of the Government will be a blessing for over 1.5 lakh Indians affected by haemophilia, as the prices of the imported F8 and F9 proteins are at present unaffordable to most. F8 protein, which is at present imported from the U.S., costs Rs. 9 per unit. In case of even a minor surgery, a severe haemophilic has to be infused with seven units of F8 per k.g. of body weight, three times a day, for a week before the surgery. Thus the expense would amount to Rs. 1 lakh or more. Others receive 5-7 units of the protein per k.g. of body weight every month as a precautionary measure. Those who need a monthly transfusion easily spend over Rs. 10,000 per month.

The P.F.U., at an estimated cost of Rs. 150 crore, is to be set up under the National A.I.D.S. Control Programme-III, and is expected to be ready in three years. Union Health Minister A. Ramadoss has stated that the P.F.U. will meet the F8 requirements of poor patients. He added that when India stops relying on imported F8 and F9 proteins, their prices will dip.

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