During the late 1970s and 1980s many groups of people, for example those with haemophilia, were treated with blood products donated by high-risk sources and were infected with HIV, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne viruses.
Although the risk of infection by contaminated blood was known in the early 1970s, patients were not told of the risk and continued to be treated unsafely and, as a result, over 2,400 people have since died. A parliamentary report from January 2015 has estimated that about 7,500 patients were infected by imported blood products from commercial organisations in the US.
The government’s failure to act is estimated to have caused deaths nationwide. In July 2017, Theresa May announced an inquiry into this scandal. A report states:
“The Government has for decades denied negligence and refused to provide compensation to those affected, this inquiry will finally be able to properly consider evidence of wrongdoing.“
In addition it is stated:
“Sir Peter Bottomley, co-chairman of the cross-party parliamentary group on haemophilia and contaminated blood, said the success of the inquiry would depend on it being able to get hold of sensitive information.
“It must have powers to get documents from pharmaceutical companies and government,” he said.
The failings have caused devastating harm to so many individuals and their families. The ongoing lack of transparency in relation to finding out exactly how this happened has added insult to injury and resulted in further deaths.
Given that those who have been injured and their families have waited so long for answers, we hope that co-operation by the relevant organisations to provide the disclosure of essential documents will now take place willingly and smoothly.
Haemophilia Society https://haemophilia.org.uk/
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