Issues Affecting the PI Community

Outlined below are CIPO’s current and ongoing advocacy efforts, both provincial and federal. Please contact CIPO if you would like further information, or if you would like to get involved in one or any of these issues.

Immunoglobulin Transition – Canadian Blood Services

In November 2017, Canadian Blood Services renegotiated contracts with suppliers for plasma protein therapies for the period of 2018-2021. CIPO took part as a stakeholder representative on the selection committee. The outcomes of the tender process resulted in changes in IVIG and SubQ across Canada for a large amount of patients. This transition will be completed by the end of 2018.

CIPO has planned a series of Transition Information Evenings for Patients. Working with Canadian Blood Services, Health Care Providers and industry, we can help patients get their questions answered and advocate better for their own care.

We will be visiting the following cities:

  • Vancouver – TBD
  • Halifax – TBD
  • London – February 22nd – Shuttleworth Auditorium, Cheapside Entrance, St. Joseph’s Health Care
  • Toronto – February 27th – Allan Waters Auditorium, St. Michael’s Hospital, 209 Victoria St.
  • Winnipeg – March 8th – PsychHealth Auditorium, Winnipeg Health Sciences
  • Ottawa – March 21st – Auditorium, Ottawa General, 501 Smyth Road
  • Edmonton – March 27th – Classroom D, 2nd Floor, Walter C McKenzie Centre, Edmonton
  • Calgary – April 18th – Auditorium, Main FMC Building, Calgary


For those who cannot attend, please submit a question via the website or email. Our goal is to ensure that all patients feel safe and secure during this change.

Statement on RFP Announcement

Transition update – December 19th

Transition update – February 1st

CBS – OBM Statement December 2017

Paid Plasma

Compensation for the donation of plasma and blood has been a controversial topic in Canada for the last few years. The Immunoglobulin (IVIG or SubQ) that treats primary immunodeficiency patientsis made from plasma. Canada is currently only producing enough plasma to fulfill 17% of our plasma needs. The other 83% is bought from the United States, from compensated US donors.

CIPO has been advocating that provincial governments not ban the compensation of plasma, as the plasma landscape is constantly changing in Canada and keeping options open for patients who need this life-saving treatment is as we see it the only way forward.


CIPO’s submission to Health Canada’s expert panel on IG: Health Canada

CIPO’s submission to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Social Policy: submission (1)

Article: Federal panel urging Canada to ramp up efforts to collect blood plasma

Article: Plasma medications from paid donors are safe: federal panel

Health Canada Report: Protecting Access to Immune Globulins for Canadians

SCID Newborn Screening

Newborn Screening for SCID is vital in early detection of this rare and severe form of primary immunodeficiency. Without newborn screening, infants have a less than 40% survival rate, and with newborn screening that number is more than 90%.

Currently newborn screening for SCID is in place in Ontario, NB, PEI and NS, with Alberta and Quebec under consideration. CIPO has a vital role to play as the patient voice makes a difference in these applications.

Comprehensive Care

One of the core programs for CIPO, our comprehensive care work is to ensure that all primary immunodeficiency patients have access to the best care possible. Our goals are the following:

  • Dedicated clinics
  • Each clinic has a dedicated nurse
  • Access to specialists with knowledge of primary immunodeficiency (GI, Respirology, Rheumatology, etc.)
  • Access to social worker
  • Transition from pediatric to adult program
  • Patient registration

Our aim is to set up at least one Dedicated Centre for Primary Immunodeficiency in each province.


Product and Supply Accessibility

No patient should worry about where their product or supplies are coming from. No patient should worry about being able to afford their supplies or product. No patient should worry about whether their hospital or blood bank will carry their product. CIPO is dedicated to advocating to ensure that this will not happen.

Awareness and Early Diagnosis

Primary Immunodeficiency is a rare disease. Currently the standard time to diagnosis in  Canada is 6-12 years. An estimated %80 of patients are undiagnosed in Canada, and over 5,000 new patients are being diagnosed each year. Through education and raising awareness of PI, we can help get more patients diagnosed, earlier.