Monday, September 26, 2022

Mexicans Can Cross U.S. Border to Get Paid for Plasma, Court Rules; Mexican Visitors Can Sell Blood Plasma, Despite Border Patrol Ruling, Judge Says

Photo: luis cortes/Reuters
Mexicans Can Cross U.S. Border to Get Paid for Plasma, Court Rules:
Pharmaceutical companies sued to lift border-agency ban on practice that accounts for up to 10% of national plasma supply
Pharmaceutical companies scored a legal victory that will again allow them to pay people who cross the border from Mexico for their blood plasma, giving a boost to U.S. supply of a critical ingredient needed for treating serious disorders.
On Friday, a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction that prevents border officials from enforcing a ban on paying for plasma donations from Mexicans who enter the U.S. on visitor visas. The injunction applies while the litigation is pending, and although the ruling isn’t final, the judge indicated the pharmaceutical companies have a strong case.
The U.S. is one of the few countries that allow payments for plasma. Up to 10% of U.S. plasma collected nationwide comes from Mexican nationals, who get paid roughly $50 to donate. But last June, U.S. border officials indicated they would stop the roughly 30-year practice of allowing Mexicans visitors to get paid for plasma because they viewed it as labor for hire, which isn’t allowed under a visitor visa.
Affiliates of Australia-based CSL Ltd. and Spain-based Grifols SA sued to overturn the ban, which came just as U.S. plasma collections were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Both companies have invested millions of dollars in collection centers near the U.S.-Mexican border.
The ban was criticized by Mexican donors, who said the new policy deprives them of income and pride they took in helping others, and patient-advocacy groups, who worried about the availability of plasma-derived medicines.
However, some doctors have raised concerns that high-frequency donation could have negative health effects, and others have questioned the ethics of paying poor people for plasma. Pharmaceutical companies say their supply base is diverse and that giving plasma is safe and closely regulated. --->READ MORE HERE
BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images
Mexican Visitors Can Sell Blood Plasma, Despite Border Patrol Ruling, Judge Says
Mexican citizens in the U.S. on visitor visas will once again be able to sell their blood plasma to pharmaceutical companies, after a federal judge issued an injunction against a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) regulation that banned the practice.
Last June, CBP announced that it would consider blood plasma donation, which could earn the most frequent donors about $4,000 per year, would be considered “labor for hire,” a type of business not permitted under visitor visas, according to ProPublica. The move was criticized by both Mexican donors, who complained of lost income and the ability to help others, and pharmaceutical companies, who argued that Mexican donors were critical to produce life-saving drugs based on plasma, with pharmaceutical firms CSL Plasma and Grifols suing to end the ban, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“CSL applauds the United States District Court’s decision to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from continuing to enforce its ban on plasma donations by Mexican nationals who enter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 visa,” said CSL in a statement. “The decision recognizes the critical importance of the need for plasma in the manufacture of life-saving therapies for hundreds of thousands of people. We are excited to welcome back Mexican donors to our plasma collection centers and appreciate their vital contribution to the plasma supply.” --->READ MORE HERE
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