Blood donations help millions of patients in need. To make the journey from “arm to arm,” every unit goes through a series of steps and tests to ensure that it is as safe as can be.
It’s an unusual industry because the product is completely dependent on donors, who aren’t paid for their donation. Yet selling the blood — which technically is a pharmaceutical product—makes millions of dollars for nonprofit entities such as Oklahoma Blood Institute.
Most of what the Red Cross does is take donated blood and sell it to health care providers. Of the more than $3 billion that the Red Cross spent last year, two-thirds was spent not on disaster relief but rather on the group's blood business.