Saturday, April 12, 2014

I heard it through the grapevine (Musings on paid plasma's PR campaign)

Updated: 29 May 2014
This months blog is another two-fer. The title of this blog is a take-off on an iconic cover of a Marvin Gaye song by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

The blog was motivated by the blow-back from those who are pro paid plasma in Canada.

My second guest blog for the BBTS is online:
The blog is about a surprising similarity between football (soccer in NA) and transfusion medicine: both are incredibly tribal. I'm a huge footie fan, with my favorite English club being Chelsea.

Please give the BBTS blog a look. It should interest physicians, nurses, technologists, and pharmacists, indeed, anyone involved in transfusion medicine.

Note that, unlike these blogs, I cannot revise and add to the BBTS blogs, except for correcting typos.
One thing I'd like to add to Simply the Best is that I'm sure that physician and nurse tribes dealing with a severely bleeding  patient with a gunshot wound, about to exsanguinate, just wants the transfusion lab to give them the damn blood, not crab about what they see as picayune identity issues.
This month's blog is a brief follow-up to last month's blog on paid plasma in Canada. It was stimulated by comments to March's blog, Hey Jude (Musings on why paid plasma makes it worse, not better), which pointed out that Canadian Plasma Resources appears to be mounting a PR campaign to influence public opinion in favour of paid plasma in Canada. Not a surprise.

Notice how they brand their site as saving lives and use photos of families. Image is everything. Two components of the PR campaign are discussed below:

1. Plasma for Ontario
Check out the un-transparent site, Plasma For Ontario. I searched who owns the domain and funds it, but, of course, whoever it is hides their identity. But I think it's safe to assume it's Canadian Plasma Resources or its surrogates.

Rule of thumb: Never trust a website that doesn't state who they are in an About Us section and identify who funds it.

2. Article in The Whig, a Kingston ON paper owned by right-wing Sun Media (think Fox News for its political slant):
To the unsuspecting, this oped piece may seems to be a news report by a reporter even though it's clearly identified as an Opinion Column. The author is Stephen Skyvington, President of PoliTrain Inc., a public relations firm.

My bet is Canadian Plasma Resources hired him to write this BS. Or perhaps he's just a knight in shining armour out to remedy injustice wherever he finds it. He claims the government's ethicists spout BS. Well, here's some of his bullsh*t:
Canadian Plasma Resources is not out to exploit the poor, or put our blood supply at risk. They want to bring innovation and jobs to Ontario — something our province is in short supply of, thanks to the McWynnety Liberals’ 11-year reign of error. Far from being a threat to the people of Ontario, Canadian Plasma Resources is trying to do something truly heroic — if only these bonehead politicians would just get out of the way. 
Read the comments to the oped. They're informative. 
Canadian Plasma Resources is heroic? Right there Skyvington reveals himself as a paid hack. Either that or delusional.

Bottom Line
The forces for paid plasma in Canada will do anything to skew the argument in their favour. 

And still we await Health Canada's decision on  paid plasma. They first said they'd seek feedback ONE YEAR AGO, for crying out loud. Recall their biased request for feedback:
  • Day tripper (Musings on HC's instructions to the jury on paid plasma)
Is Canada's blood regulator lazy or do bureaucratic wheels turn that slowly these days? Descriptors that come to mind about Health Canada's approach to paid plasma: farcical, incompetent, perhaps even gutless. Come on, HC - make us proud! Do something, anything...make a decision for gawd sake.

Added 29 May 2014'Must read' on paid plasma:


Figuring the forces for paid plasma in Canada would not go down without a fight, I expected blow-back. But I heard it through the grapevine of blogging thanks to comments by a generous Anonymous to the prior blog.

I prefer Creedence Clearwater Revival's 1970 version to Marvin Gaye's 1968 classic version. Judge for yourself.

As always, the views are mine alone. Comments are most welcome.


  1. Roger Strange12:47 PM

    Hear it through the Grapevine? - try the California Rasins ad from some years ago - now that was a good version!

  2. Cute, Roger. Their version of 'I heard it through the grapvine. Enjoy!

  3. Anonymous1:17 PM

    More in the news about paid plasma. CPR spends 7.5 mil ahead of getting a green light from Health Canada or the Province and somehow the taxpayer should be on the hook?

    Should the tail wag the dog?