Furquan Stafford Takes a Stand for Blacks Who Donate Blood Plasma

Photo courtesy: Furquan R Stafford Sr
Photo courtesy: Furquan R Stafford Sr

Blood has power. According to community activist Furquan R. Stafford, Sr., chairman and CEO of C.P. Plasma Center Inc. (CPPC), it has an economic power that is being overlooked when it comes to African Americans. He points out that revolutionary black surgeon Dr. Charles Richard Drew’s pioneering work in blood collection, plasma processing and transfusion laid the foundation for modern blood banks. That fact has spurred him to speak out.

It is no secret that racial disparities in health care exist in the United States, here Stafford discusses his organization’s petition titled: “The U.S. Plasma Collection Industry: Stop the Global Anticompetitive and Monopoly conduct,” which is a seeking to procure 10,000 signatures on change.org to modify the practices as it relates to African Americans and blood plasma — the liquid portion of the blood, carrying vital nutrients and containing critical clotting factors. –yvette caslin

What is the mission of the petition?
The mission of this petition is to garner support from people that are standing behind a change of action in the U.S. Plasma Collection Industry. This petition was created to bring attention to the Global Anticompetitive and Monopoly comportment. This attention creates media attention and public dialogue about the economic and racial disparity in this industry.

Who will benefit most from this effort?
From a social outlook, the African American community will benefit by respecting the legacy of Dr. Charles Drew, an African American medical scientist who discovered … pioneered blood plasma. Also, it is my sincere intention – with this medical pioneer effort — that our youth especially minority students will be inspired as they see an African American male blaze a trail outside of entertainment and athletics and be active readers, dedicated to education and become interested in the areas of medicine, science and entrepreneurship. Last but not least, from a medical standpoint, people who are dealing with medical deficiencies such as sickle cell, pediatric HIV, hemophilia and soon Alzheimer’s disease will benefit from my efforts.

Why do you feel compelled to take up this cause? Are you affected personally?
I believe that it is preordained for me to further the medical accomplishments of Dr. Charles Drew and Dr. Vivian T. Thomas.  I have  been affected personally because my company, C.P. Plasma Center Inc. (CPPC) and I have been disputing for an equal economic growth opportunity in the U.S. Plasma Collection Industry, but the results haven’t been noteworthy thus far. C.P. Plasma Center [is] not an overnight process but a process that I started back in 1994. C.P. Plasma Center and I aspire to become global leaders in the U.S. Plasma Collection industry and that would certainly be a departure from the current norm.  In 2012, I am faced with anticompetitive as well as monopoly conduct from foreign companies – Grifols of Spain; Kedrion SpA of Italy; Biotest AG of German; CSL of Australia; and Octapharma of Switzerland– in which the U.S. supplies 90 percent of plasma and plasma products to nations across the globe and without a plasma agreement from these foreign companies C.P. Plasma Center Inc. remains stymied.

What is your educational and professional background?
I became the first African American to receive my Associate Degree in Science from McCook Community College in McCook, Neb. and studied nursing at Texas Southern University and Georgia State University. I started working in the U.S. Plasma Collection industry back in 1994 from ground zero as a phlebotomist. Professionally, I started, organized, and managed all areas of operations for C.P. Plasma Center Inc.  Also, I researched, developed and implemented a sound business plan and initiatives which have fostered the continual growth of the company and its exposure. But more importantly, I fostered sound business relationships with a variety of qualified experts throughout the country.

Once the petition is signed, what are the next steps?
Our goal is to secure 10,000 signatures and submit signatures along with additional information to The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition. It’s mission is to prevent business practices that are anticompetitive, deceptive, or unfair to consumers. If that step is not effective, then on to the United States Congress.

For more information regarding “The U.S. Plasma Collection Industry: Stop the Global Anticompetitive and Monopoly conduct” and to sign the petition, please visit www.change.org/petitions/the-u-s-plasma-collection-industry-stop-the-global-anticompetitive-and-monopoly-conduct

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