January 14, 2017 – The federal government has quietly approved a plasma-for-profit clinic in Saskatoon, drawing fiery criticism from politicians, scientists and patients
Three days before Christmas 2016, jingly seasonal music fills the air at Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) in Saskatoon, located in a non-descript building in a quiet industrial stretch. In one direction, a strip of pawn shops; in the other, the Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Prospective donors are greeted by an artificial Christmas tree, a Purell dispenser and screening restrictions: medications they can’t be taking, that they must be between 17 and 61 years of age and weigh at least 50 kg. They’ll need SIN documentation, proof of a current fixed address, and government-issued photo ID. A young man is filling out a 42-question donor form, with queries from “At any time since 1977, have you received money or drugs for sex?” to “Are you aware of a diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease among any of your blood relatives (parent, child, sibling)?” Another 21 questions will be reviewed during a nurse’s examination.