Europe – EDQM and EC build on 10 years of co-operation to support a more sustainable blood supply and resilient blood sector

A conference celebrating 10 years of co-operation between the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) and the European Commission (EC) in the field of blood transfusion shed light on the challenges faced by blood establishments (BEs) in securing sustainable blood supplies and a resilient blood transfusion sector in Europe.

The conference, entitled “Keeping up with Reality and Quality: A Challenge for European Blood Establishments”, provided a forum to assess the challenges arising from scientific, regulatory, societal and economic developments that impact the effectiveness of blood systems and BE quality systems. Speakers from BEs, competent authorities, suppliers of medical devices and equipment, blood professional associations and international organisations from all over Europe, reflected on ways forward to make blood systems more efficient, resilient and sustainable.

In particular, BEs stressed the serious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continuity of blood supplies: lockdowns and staff shortages have reduced donations, as well as capacity at donation centres, making it necessary to activate emergency plans. This situation highlights the importance of preparedness, contingency planning and experience sharing, for which forums, such as the conference, may be useful…