ASUNCION – Paraguay has stopped incinerating tons of plasma each year, joining Uruguay in recycling the blood product in Argentina, where it is used in manufacturing medicines, saving the Health Ministry nearly $1 million annually, officials told EFE.
Four tons of plasma were shipped from the National Blood Bank in Asuncion to a processing center in Cordoba, Argentina, where they were turned into medicines this week for patients suffering from immune system disorders and low red blood cell counts.
Before the recycling agreement was signed, Paraguay discarded about 75 percent of the plasma stored each year, National Blood Bank director Dr. Elsi Vargas told EFE.
The plasma is now used to produce medicines that would have to be purchased.
“If the Health Ministry had to make a purchase for patients right now, these medicines, in these quantities, would cost the equivalent of $900,000. We’re saving $900,000,” Vargas said.