The ultimate responsibility for selecting and administering plasma products to patients rests with the prescribing physician, and it is for him/her to choose the safest product available. However, liability for a product with a full licence rests exclusively with the licence holder. After the problems of HIV and hepatitis C the safety of plasma-derived products has become of paramount importance.
Particularly in the public sector, financial, strategic and political obstacles may adversely influence the quantity, quality and safety of plasma collection. The safety of blood products can be substantially enhanced by the harmonization of technical standards across both public and private sectors, thus supporting EC Directive 89/381. Additionally, the goal of European rather than national self-sufficiency should be encouraged.