Kalorama Information expects the market for plasma collection to grow, and to outpace overall blood collection through 2018. The primary market driver will be plasma-derived immunoglobulins (Ig) used to produce intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapies. The growth of mature markets associated with the collection, processing and therapeutic use of whole blood and derived products are by and large endangered without the robustness of the global plasma market. This is the finding of Kalorama Information's recent Blood: The Worldwide Market for Blood Products, Blood Testing, Blood Equipment, and Synthetic Blood Products.
Source plasma – collected with machines that separate and transfuse red blood cells back into the donor (apheresis) – rose by 11% on average each year over the same period. Kalorama Information expects the plasma Ig market to grow by over 6% annually through 2018. Meanwhile the volume of blood transfusions in the United States is declining: between 2009 and 2014 blood transfusions fell approximately by one third according to the American Red Cross. Recent blood transfusion statistics from Europe show a similarly negative trend.
"Lower transfusion rates have been the result of reformed hospital practices; medical advances that mitigate the need for transfusion; and autologous blood salvaging," said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information. "In turn, insurance companies have reduced rates for transfusion procedures and hospitals now seek out lower blood unit prices."
Kalorama Information's market research report says over ten times as much plasma is collected in the United States as in Europe- in 2013, 29.4 million liters to 2.3 million liters. The vast majority of source plasma is collected by private (for-profit) industry. National governments once active in plasma markets through blood fractionation activities have since ceded collection to plasma specialists in the pharmaceutical industry and not-for-profit blood collection organizations.
The production of not-for-profit participants has become increasingly insufficient towards meeting regional plasma demand. Plasma collection from the fractionation of whole blood has remained largely flat in volume for over the past decade, with source plasma responsible for supplying rising demand. While national self-sufficiency in plasma collection is not necessary across the board, better distribution globally of large-scale plasma facilities – outside of hubs in the United States, some EU countries and Australia – could stimulate higher demand from neglected markets. The majority of countries in the world consume plasma-derived products at rates well below their potential usage as suggested by disease prevalence.
Kalorama says the sustained success of the plasma market, even through the downturn of the whole blood market ensures growth in many blood-related markets. Strong growth in infectious disease screening for blood banks and plasma collection facilities is predicated on the equally valid demand for screening after plasmapheresis. Discussions of ending heavy plasma imports into the United Kingdom and restoring domestic collection activities center around the development of a novel highly sensitive blood test for Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD) or the manifestation of mad cow disease (BSE) in humans. Similar test product development is likely to follow in regions where plasma collection is established and endemic disease threats exist. Blood typing and blood collection equipment will see relatively lower growth rates attributable to plasma collection as consolidation is also a key characteristic of the modern plasma industry.