Pune, September 26, 2020: The Maharashtra Health Department has fixed the rates of the plasma bag used for Coronavirus disease (COVID19) treatment. The private blood banks and hospitals will charge Rs 5,500 for 200 ml of a plasma bag. If anyone is caught charging extra, they will have to refund the extra amount or the license will be cancelled.
As a result, patients in Pune and Maharashtra will be charged Rs 5,500 instead of Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,000 per bag of plasma. Due to a shortage of plasma, there is a fear of black marketing of plasma bags just like in the case of ‘Remdesivir’ used for treating Coronavirus patients. Therefore the rates have been fixed to Rs 5,500 and have been approved for 200ml plasma bags.
“If the plasma bag is made available with the Nucleic Acid Test (NAT), the maximum rate for this test will be Rs 1,200. Also, if a plasma bag is given after a chemiluminescence test, a maximum rate of Rs 500 will be charged per test”, the health department said.
Plasma therapy is currently being used on an experimental basis for treating Coronavirus infection in government medical colleges in the state. ‘Off Label’ Plasma Therapy by Central Government and Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) guidelines have been issued. After that, private and trusted blood banks were charging around Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,000 for plasma therapy in Pune for the use of convalescent plasma (off label) compiled using plasma fibrosis method.
Therefore, the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) had set up a committee to make plasma available to patients at affordable rates. The committee said the rates were based on the cost of collecting plasma and the service charges for additional tests or special tests on blood as specified in the National Blood Policy.