EURORDIS celebrates 20 years

2017 marks the 20th anniversary of EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe.

The rare disease community, including all rare disease patient organisations and their partners, can be deservedly proud of its achievements over the last two decades.

Read more about achievements of the rare disease community over the past 20 years.

The landscape has changed drastically during this time. We have gone from near ignorance to the recognition of rare diseases as a public health priority in Europe.

EU law now incentivises companies to develop orphan medicines. European expertise and innovative technologies that can potentially benefit people living with a rare disease have been developed.

Most EU Member States now have national rare disease strategies and specialised centres of care. Rare disease research is stronger and recognised for its excellence.

The rare disease patient community is bigger, better connected and highly skilled with great leaders at its helm. Its spirit is collaborative across very different diseases, countries and stakeholders in Europe. Patients are now being taken seriously and listened to by policy makers, researchers and companies. Patient centricity has been the buzz term of the past decade.

The future

EURORDIS looks to the future with great energy and drive. Building on collective expertise from experience and shared values, together we will continue to tackle the new challenges that lie ahead.

Patient engagement will be the buzz term of the next decade; patient engagement in research, in healthcare services, in medical and social care and in the lifecycle of medicinal products.

EURORDIS strives to create the transformational change that rare disease patients and their families need by:

  • Increasing awareness of rare diseases among a larger public and key stakeholders.
  • Establishing rare diseases as a public health priority in the face of new challenges.
  • Providing a cohesive voice that represents all patients and diseases, making this voice international.
  • Supporting patient advocacy based on patients’ knowledge.
  • Engaging patients at all relevant levels to ensure the effective implementation of new policies and legislation in research, therapies and healthcare, which are relevant to the needs of patients.
  • Empowering patient advocates and patient organisations by building their capacities to advocate for the need of people living with a rare disease, by providing them with information and by connecting them across the rare disease community.


Read the full article written by Yann Le Cam, EURORDIS Chief Executive Officer, and Terkel Andersen, President of the Board of Officers, on how EURORDIS and the rare disease community will tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

Working towards better lives and cures for people living with a rare disease.

Page created: 20/03/2017
Page last updated: 21/03/2017
La voix des patients atteints de maladies rares en EuropeEURORDIS Donnant la voix, à l'international, aux personnes vivant avec une maladie rare, Rare Diseases International est une initiative d'EURORDISRare Disease International Pour rapprocher patients, familles et experts sur un forum modéré multilingue, où partager leurs expériences. RareConnect est une initiative d'EURORDIS RareConnect Campagne internationale de sensibilisation organisée chaque année le dernier jour de février, la Journée Internationale des Maladies Rares est une initiative d'EURORDISRare Disease Day Participez au plus grand événement réunissant tous les acteurs des maladies rares en Europe lors de Conférence européenne bisannuelle sur les maladies rares et les médicaments orphelins (European Conference on Rare Diseases and Orphan Products, ou ECRD). L'ECRD est une initiative d'EURORDISEuropean Conference on Rare Diseases