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So-Called Rare Diseases Are Too Common to Ignore

Posted on June 19th, 2017 by in Pharma R&D

Pills in hand

It’s time to re-think our attitude towards rare diseases. Even though relatively few people suffer from any given rare disease, there are so many of these maladies that it’s a surprisingly large swath of the population that is actually victimized by them.In fact, approximately 6% of people will be affected by rare diseases at some point in their lives. And yet, over the years, their classification as rare has led them to often be ignored, with pharmaceutical companies and public health systems concentrating their efforts on developing treatments for diseases typically viewed as being more common.

Thankfully, a shift in the pharmaceutical industry’s focus away from blockbuster drugs has led to more attention being paid to “orphan drugs” that target rare disease. Recent scientific and medical advances are empowering researchers in drug discovery and development to create therapies for these diseases that were once thought incurable. That said, cost remains a significant problem. Drug development is an expensive endeavor, and if a new treatment can only benefit a small number of patients, can drug makers afford the high cost?

Read this new article in Raconteur to learn more about how government health organizations, pharma companies and patient advocates are approaching the problem of treating rare diseases.

All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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