Blood and blood products are a critical component of health care. The NBA manages the national blood supply to ensure that:

  • healthcare providers have reliable and efficient access to blood and blood products needed for patient care
  • value for money is achieved.

The Australian, state and territory governments spend more than $1.7 billion a year on blood and blood products. These are provided at no cost to patients based on clinical need and appropriate clinical practice.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood(Opens in a new tab/window) (Lifeblood) needs more than 1.6 million donations each year to ensure a reliable blood supply for Australians who need it.

Fresh blood products come directly from Lifeblood. CSL Behring makes most of Australia's plasma-derived products from plasma collected by Lifeblood under the National Fractionation Agreement for Australia.

We also need to purchase blood products from overseas. These products are either not made in Australia, or Australia is unable to produce enough to meet demand.

What we do to manage blood supply

The NBA ensures a secure supply of blood and blood products in Australia by:

  • working with states and territories to determine and manage an annual supply plan and budget
  • negotiating and managing blood supply contracts and arrangements with local and overseas suppliers
  • administering payments to suppliers based on funding and supply contracts
  • supporting decisions of funding governments by evaluating proposals to add, remove or change blood products on the National Product Price List
  • establishing risk and contingency management arrangements, including planning for times of supply shortage
  • managing Australia's access to government-funded immunoglobulin products.

Risk management

We have an integrated risk management program that focuses on managing issues that pose a risk to the Australian blood sector, especially to continuous supply security.

We also have structured measures to address risk where appropriate. These include:

National Stewardship Program

We manage the National Stewardship Program, which aims to identify, develop and support ways for jurisdictions and Australian Health Providers (AHPs) to:

  • reduce waste
  • use blood and blood products appropriately.

Blood product labelling

The NBA has set the barcode symbologies used on blood and blood products funded under the national blood arrangements to globally recognised standards.

This provides efficiencies in the healthcare supply chain and improvements to patient safety.

Get in touch

For more information about how the NBA manages blood supply, please contact us.

Last updated: 27 Mar 2024

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