Chinese Food and Drug Administration Announces New Blood Products Policy to Prevent Spread of HIV, Other Bloodborne Diseases

China's State Food and Drug Administration recently announced a new policy under which all blood products in the country will be screened for HIV and other bloodborne diseases and approved before entering the market, Xinhuanet reports. The policy goes into effect on June 1 (Xinhuanet, 5/18). China's Ministry of Health in December 2005 announced rules that would punish people for collecting and distributing untested blood that leads to the spread of diseases such as HIV through subsequent transfusions. The rules, which took effect in March 2006, were intended to enforce a 1998 ban on blood sales and also to make collection centers responsible for the safety of donated blood. Although the 1998 ban reduced the number of blood-collection organizations operating in the country, about 350 such groups currently operate and allegedly remain motivated by profit (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/22/06).

According to Xinhuanet, SFDA dispatched 80 supervisors at the end of March 2007 to 33 blood-products manufacturers and 31 vaccine producers in 24 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities to conduct random checks of blood-product manufacturing facilities. The supervisors received training for the checks from local agencies (Xinhuanet, 5/18). The new policy mandates that plasma collected from donors be stored for 90 days and screened for HIV and other bloodborne diseases before being used in blood-based medicines (Reuters, 5/23). According to SFDA, the policy will be extended to all blood-based drugs beginning Jan. 1, 2008 (Xinhuanet, 5/18).

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