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Combating the commodification of and trafficking in tissues of human origin

In a declaration unanimously adopted today, the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development expressed its concern about the potential commodification of substances of human origin in the context of the development and production of new therapeutic options, and their commercialisation.

It is particularly concerned that the principles of prohibition of financial gain from the human body, and the free and informed consent to donation, and the prevalence of the interests of the human being over the sole interest of society or science, may be bypassed, that the sustainability of healthcare systems may be put at risk and that patient access to these novel therapies may be severely compromised.

The committee is convinced that stronger action is needed in this area, at international and national level, and has recommended the drafting of a legally binding Council of Europe instrument against trafficking in human tissues and cells. It also called on member States to reinforce national legislation, including by ensuring transparency in donor recruitment strategies and pricing schemes for therapies based on substances of human origin.

The parliamentarians fully support the proposals set out by the European Committee on Organ Transplantation (CD-P-TO) in its position statement on the risk of commodification of substances of human origin.