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The taintedblood Timeline  -  what really happened...

"To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay, right or justice."
Magna Carta - 15th June, 1215

No of entries selected: 3 of 711
Chiron Corporation - Discovery of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
A team of scientists, working at the Chiron Corporation, discover, clone and sequence the Hepatitis C virus - the causative agent of Non-A Non-B Hepatitis (NANBH).

The pioneering work of scientist Michael Houghton, Ph.D. and colleagues Qui-Lim Choo, Ph.D. and George Kuo, Ph.D. goes back as far as 1982.

Source: Link #1
Type: Development
Location: USA
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26 March
Landmark Legal Action - Mr Justice Burton - HCV Litigation
A landmark case, A vs. National Blood Authority, is brought by 114 people infected with HCV via contaminated blood. Mr Justice Burton rules compensation be paid by the National Blood Authority and Velindre NHS Trust.
Source: Link #1
Additional Source: A vs. National Blood Authority
Link #3
Type: Legal Action (Hansard)
Location: UK
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26 March
Commencement of Anti-Hep C Screening by Country

On 18th November 1987, Chiron Corporation filed a priority application in the USA for a patent describing the cloning and characterization of Hepatitis C virus as the causative agent of Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis.

The development of HCV tests then followed, with Chiron developing an alliance with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. Understandably, following these discoveries, time was required in order to validate and register the HCV assay globally.


The following timetable shows when various countries commenced anti-Hep C screening in relation to the Ortho test evaluation and trials:

tr> tr> tr> tr> tr>
Nov 1989 Japan
Feb 1990 Australia
Mar 1990 France (1 March): Luxembourg (new donors only, 1 March)
Apr 1990 Finland (1 April all donations: partially started 1 February)
May 1990 USA
May 1990 Austria (2 May): Amsterdam (other Netherlands Centres later)
Jun 1990 Canada: Germany (by 1 July)
Jul 1990 Belgium (1 July)
Aug 1990 Switzerland (1 August)
Sep 1990 Luxembourg (all donors)
Oct 1990 Italy: (many centres)
Oct 1990 Spain: (all by 12 October, some earlier)
1990/91 Norway
Jan 1991 Sweden (legal requirement published 24 January to start as soon as possible)
Mar 1991 (not before Mar) Portugal (mandatory)
Mar 1991 (some earlier): Cyprus: Greece: Hungary: Iceland: Malta
Apr 1991 Netherlands (mandatory 1 April)
Jun 1991 Denmark
Aug 1991 Italy (balance)
Sep 1991 UK (1 September)
Sep/Oct 1991 Ireland

Note: It is clear that the United Kingdom were in no hurry to introduce anti-HCV screening. Indeed, they could be said to have deliberately procrastinated, making them the last-but-one country in this list to introduce screening. This is consistent with what the Science and Technology Select Committee Inquiry report referred to as an over-optimistic "wait and see" stance, instead of taking the maximum precautionary approach. It is also possible to learn more about what can only be described as procrastination and stalling of the introduction of HCV testing by reading Chapter 9 of the Penrose Preliminary Report.

Source: Link #1
Type: Court Ruling - Justice Burton Judgment
Location: UK
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Timeline Copyright ©2006 Andrew March & Haydn Lewis
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