There has been great progress in rare disease research, in big part thanks to the advocacy work of the rare disease patient community. Patients are already participating in research. And in some cases patients have taken the reins themselves to fund their own research.
However, the fact remains that there are over 6000 rare diseases, an estimated 30 million people living with a rare disease in Europe and 300 million worldwide, but no cures and few treatments available for the majority of these diseases.
To help change this, patient involvement in research needs to be taken to the next level.
Rare Disease Day 2018 offers participants the opportunity to be part of a global call on policy makers, researchers, companies and healthcare professionals to increasingly and more effectively involve patients in rare disease research.
Great efforts are being made to take rare disease research to an international level. Only by doing so can we guarantee rare disease research will be truly effective. In turn, this will contribute to increased and faster diagnosis of rare diseases and therefore reduce the number of people around the world who face the daily challenge of living with an undiagnosed rare disease.