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Monday, 24 November 2003
Page: 17682

Senator Hutchins asked the Minister for Health and Ageing, upon notice, on 11 September 2003:

With reference to the assertion made on page 14 of the Report of the Expert Advisory Group on Hepatitis C and Plasma that “There have been no reports of HCV in recipients of blood products made from pools of plasma that included anti-HCV positive units dispatched from the Central Coast Blood Bank to Commonwealth Serum Laboratories”: Was there a process for identifying or notifying all patients who may have received or used recalled product manufactured from hepatitis C contaminated plasma; if so, were such patients tested for HCV.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads) —The Minister for Health and Ageing has provided the following response to the honourable senator's question:

CSL Limited (CSL) and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) have advised that the following process was followed:

CSL agreed the process with the Recall Section of the Therapeutic Goods Administration;

CSL subsequently advised those Blood Transfusion Services that had received the designated batches of Prothrombinex of necessary action;

The Blood Transfusion Services notified all end users (such as hospitals) in writing of the recall and provided a list of those end users to CSL;

CSL dispatched recall letters to the end users on that mailing list, including hospital pharmacists, blood banks, and Directors of Haematology and to private pathologists and individual doctors;

The ARCBS advised that it is not aware of what steps might have been taken by hospitals or clinicians to advise their patients of the recall nor whether end users recommended that their patients seek hepatitis C testing.