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Parliamentary questions
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3 September 2020
P-004335/2020(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-004335/2020

The evaluation of the EU legislation on blood, tissues and cells was published in October 2019(1). Its main conclusions — that the legislation brought significant improvements to safety and quality of these substances, but certain gaps and shortcomings emerged — was also confirmed in the COVID-19 crisis. The issue of sufficiency of supply was raised as a key topic.

The Commission is currently considering possible options for addressing these issues.

As a direct response to the crisis, funding of EUR 40 million have been made available to support increasing the capacity of convalescent plasma collection by public blood centres and non-governmental organisations in the Emergency Support Instrument(2). The Commission is also supporting a study of convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19.

The Commission funded a contract to develop guidance on Patient Blood Management for authorities and for blood establishments, recognising that it is a tool that could effectively impact positively on the supply of blood for transfusion.

As part of actions funded under the newly proposed EU4Health programme, under discussion between the Council and the European Parliament, the Commission foresees to continue supporting actions working towards improvements to safety and quality of blood supply as well as supply sufficiency.

Horizon Europe, the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, will include activities to unlock the potential of new technologies to address unmet medical needs. It will also support research and innovation to develop innovative solutions for the modernisation of healthcare systems. These actions could include research on approaches to support the optimal use and sustainable management of blood.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/blood_tissues_organs/docs/swd_2019_376_en.pdf
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response/emergency-support-instrument_en
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