Supply of PDM’s has been an issue ever since these drugs were introduced post WWII. The initial codification of these regulations occurred when the Government privatised CSL in 1994. Then in 2003 the Federal Government passed the National Blood Authority Act 2003, which established the NBA. Finally, in 2010 the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued resolution WHA63.12, which calls for member countries to achieve self-sufficiency in plasma derived medicines.
The National Blood Authority Act 2003 states that the NBA is:
“to carry out national blood arrangements to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of blood products and services in all the States and covered Territories; and to carry out national blood arrangements relating to safety measures, quality measures, contingency measures and risk mitigation measures for the supply of blood products and services.”
The NBA is the sole entity which controls the collection of plasma in Australia and the purchase of PDM’s for use in Australia. As part of these functions the NBA also has advisory groups who advise the NBA on best clinical practice including new treatments.
The NBA has a contract with Lifeblood to pay for the collection of plasma in Australia. The NBA also has an exclusive contract to supply CSL with all of the plasma collected by Lifeblood. Further, the NBA contracts with other PDM suppliers to provide the additional PDM’s which cannot be supplied from the plasma collected by Lifeblood.
In 2021 Lifeblood collected 819,000L of plasma, which was supplied to CSL. CSL processed this plasma into PDM’s and in the case of immunoglobulins (IVIG) supplied approximately 54% of the immunoglobulins used in that year. The balance of 46% came from plasma sourced outside of Australia.
In 2021-22 the NBA purchased approximately $1,475m of blood & blood products. Of these $708m related to the purchase of plasma from Lifeblood and $548m related to the purchase of PDM’s.
In 2020-21 the NBA paid CSL $57.14 /g for the IVIG fractionation from the Australian plasma collected by Lifeblood and $45/g for the overseas collected plasma. The product manufactured from Australian plasma does not include the cost of the plasma, whereas the overseas supplied product does include the cost of plasma. Plasma represents approximately 50% of the total cost.
 NBA Annual Report 2021-22 Page 38.
 NBA Annual Report 2020-21 Page 155.