America's Blood Centers U.S. And European Blood Networks Agree To Pursue Joint Interests

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In the first effort of its kind, America's Blood Centers (ABC), North America's largest network of non-profit, community blood centers, and the European Blood Alliance (EBA), a network of national and regional blood organizations, have agreed to work together to improve the safety, value and adequacy of the blood supply in countries in which they operate.

ABC and EBA recognize the benefits to their member blood organizations, and further to the donors and patients their members serve by forging a working partnership. To that point, the two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which outlines areas of cooperation, including actively working with FDA and EU regulators to achieve a harmonization of requirements and decision-making processes that will promote safe and high quality blood products. A joint workshop will be held in Quebec, Canada in August 2005.

"We believe there is much to be learned from sharing best practices between our organizations," said ABC President Louis Katz, M.D. "The value of what is learned through ABC's and EBA's work together will benefit donors and patients by leading to the further advancement of blood safety practices."

The driving force behind this unprecedented partnership is safety.

"The world is a very small place and what happens in one country affects others, if not all," said EBA President Martin Gorham. "Cooperation between EBA and our U.S. counterpart is an important step in ensuring safe and available blood products globally."

America's Blood Centers

Founded in 1962, America's Blood Centers is North America's largest network of non-profit, community blood centers. Seventy-six blood centers operate more than 600 collection sites in 45 U.S. states and Quebec, Canada, and provide nearly half of the United States, and nearly one-quarter of Canada's volunteer donor blood supply. These centers serve more than 150 million people and provide blood products and services to more than 3,300 hospitals. ABC members are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

The European Blood Alliance

The European Blood Alliance (EBA) is the network of national blood organizations, which provide a substantial part of blood services in the European Union Member States and some other European countries.

America's Blood Centers

CONTACT: Sharon Pavlovsky of America's Blood Centers, +1-202-654-2915,or spavlovsky@americasblood.org

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