Increased Research into Rare Disease

Increased Research into Rare Disease

04.28.11 | By

The Huffington Post has an interesting piece today that's worth reading on new efforts to research and develop new medicines to treat rare diseases. Of course, many of these efforts aren't really new. America's biopharmaceutical research companies have long researched and developed medicines targeting rare diseases (i.e. conditions affecting less than 200,000 patients). In fact, PhRMA recently released a survey showing that more than 400 potential new medicines to fight a variety of rare conditions are either in late-stage testing or before the FDA for approval for patient use.

In the Huffington Post article, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins speaks about one reason this research is so important. Dr. Collins says: "Getting a home run with a rare disease sometimes points you in a direction that will be beneficial for common diseases."

Those are good words to remember: good science isn't a one-way street. Success - and failure - teach us a lot, create new opportunities and open new research doors.

That is one important reason that America's biopharmaceutical companies invest so much in new research and development - more than $65 billion last year alone.

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