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Parliamentary questions
31 August 2007
WRITTEN QUESTION by Konrad Szymański (UEN) to the Commission

 Subject: Commercialisation of blood donation in Saxony (Germany) and availability of blood in Lower Silesia (Poland)

I thank the Commission for its answer of 6 June 2007 to my question on the commercialisation of blood donation in Lower Silesia by the German firm Haema.

Can the Commission state the outcome of the requested ‘analysis of the situation’? Of particular interest is the position of the German bodies responsible for monitoring the application of the rules on blood donation.

A new development in the use of marketing techniques to boost blood donation at the centres belonging to Haema is the payment of people who bring along another blood donor. This is counter to the principle of voluntary donation stated in Directive 2002/98/EC(1) of 27 January 2003 on the standards of quality and safety for the donation, testing, storage and distribution of blood.

I would also like to draw the Commission's attention to the fact that in the above case the rates paid cannot be considered compensation (the company pays EUR 20 for 500 ml blood and EUR 15 for 750 ml of plasma). The difference with regard to the purchasing power of the euro and between the GDP per capita of Poland and Germany means that these rates exceed the level of compensation permitted under European law.

As a result of the commercialisation of blood donation in Saxony, blood donation centres in Lower Silesia (the Polish region bordering Saxony) have seen a 10 to 12 % fall in the amount of blood available.

This situation has a direct impact on the availability and quality of healthcare in Lower Silesia. According to the case-law of the European Court of Justice, healthcare considerations constitute an overriding public interest. These overriding concerns can justify the application of authorisation schemes and other restrictions to the internal market.

Can the Commission carry out a careful legal study of the marketing activities of these blood donation centres on the Polish-German border, with particular regard to safeguarding the quality and availability of services of general interest on the territory of a Member State.

(1)OJ L 33, 8.2.2003, p. 30.

Original language of question: PLOJ C 191, 29/07/2008
Last updated: 5 September 2007Legal notice