News from NORD

2018 Marks 35th Anniversary of NORD and the Orphan Drug Act


In January of 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the Orphan Drug Act, launching a new era of hope for the millions of Americans with diseases so rare that no pharmaceutical company was pursuing development of treatments. A few months later, the patient advocates who had worked together to get that law enacted formally announced their collaboration as the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), to provide advocacy, education, research, and patient services on behalf of all people affected by rare diseases. Throughout 2018, NORD and others in the rare disease community will be celebrating this 35th anniversary year. While only a dozen rare disease treatments had been developed by industry in the decade before 1983, more than 500 have been approved by FDA since then and many more are in the pipeline. Many of these are breakthrough therapies that have been life-saving, or have significantly improved quality of life, for patients who previously had no therapy. View archived video from 30th anniversary about the role of patient advocates in enactment of the Orphan Drug Act.

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