Blood inquiry condemns 'procrastination' which led to thousands of patients being infected with HIV and Hepatitis C
article in the Telegraph
"The inquiry, led by Labour Peer Lord Archer of Sandwell, said the infection of so many people was a "horrific human tragedy."
The authors of the report said they were "dismayed" at the time taken by the Government and scientific agencies to respond to the dangers of Hepatitis C and HIV infections.
The report noted there was "lethargic" progress towards national self-sufficiency in blood products in England and Wales, where it took 13 years compared to just five years in Ireland.
As a result the NHS bought blood from US suppliers who used what became known as "skid row" donors, such as prison inmates, who were more likely to have HIV and Hepatitis C.
The report said: "It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that commercial interests took precedence over public health concerns."
It added: "Whether the lack of urgency over much of this period arose from over-hesitant scientific advice or from a sluggish response by Government is now difficult to assess."
Nearly 2,000 haemophiliacs have died as a result of exposure to the contaminated blood in what leading medical expert Lord Winston called "the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS"."