In the coming decade, it is expected that more European patients will need access to plasma-derived medicines.
Every year, more patients across the EU are diagnosed with life-threatening plasma protein-related disorders, such as immune deficiencies, immune-mediated peripheral neuropathies, hereditary angioedema, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiencies, haemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.
In many cases, plasma-derived medicines are the only option to treat these rare diseases. New indications, improved diagnostic techniques, greater use in Europe, and increased use in in cancer treatment-induced secondary immunodeficiency contribute to a growing clinical need.
Over the past 10 years, the use of immunoglobulins – some of the most used plasma-derived medicines – has almost doubled. With a yearly increase of about 8%, immunoglobulin usage increased from 32 tonnes in 2009 to 60 tonnes in 2019 (Marketing Research Bureau, 2019). This increase is driven by: innovations in medical research; improved and early diagnosis; extended patients’ lifespans due to timely treatments; and efforts to increase immunoglobulin usage in the Eastern EU countries, which is currently behind usage in the Western countries.
Today, some 30% (or 3.8 million litres) of the plasma used to manufacture plasma-derived medicines for EU patients comes from the U.S. (Marketing Research Bureau, 2019).
These therapies are unique, biologic medicines derived from human plasma. They treat millions of patients worldwide who live with a variety of rare, life-threatening, chronic, genetic diseases, such as primary immunodeficiencies and haemophilia, and are used for medical emergencies, such as shock and burns.
The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) is the global industry trade association representing the private sector manufacturers of plasma-derived and recombinant analogue therapies, collectively known as plasma protein therapies; and the collectors of source plasma used for fractionation to make plasma-derived medicines. PPTA also administers standards and programmes that help ensure the quality and safety of plasma protein therapies, donors, and patients.