Albert van der Zeijden

After a study educational theory at the University of Utrecht he became a teacher and principal of a teachers’ trainings college till 1982. Till 1988 he was the chairman of the board of another teachers’ training college.


In 1980 he became interested in health care and patient advocacy after he was diagnosed as having Crohns’ disease and enkylosing spondylitis (Bechterews’ disease). Since 2005 his heart is supported by an implantable cardio defibrillator (ICD) after a heart arrest. Since 1982 Mr. van der Zeijden has been one of the initiators and (vice)-presidents of many patients’ organisations as well at the national, European and international level. Including the Dutch Crohns’ and Ulcerative Colitis Association (CCUVN) and the European Federation of Crohn’ and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA), the Council of the Chronical Ill and the handicapped of the Netherlands (CGCouncil), the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) and the Dutch Steering Group on Orphan Drugs.

At present he is the representative of the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as well as a member of numerous boards, committees and working parties, including:

The Pharmaceutical Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of EMA
The patients’ and Consumers’ Working Party (PCWP) of EMA
The European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG)
Vice-president of Health First Europe (HFE)
The Dutch agence for the registration of adverse drug reactions Lareb

The voice of rare disease patients in EuropeEURORDIS The international voice of people living with rare diseasesRare Disease International Bringing together patients, families and experts to share experiences in a moderated multi-language forum. RareConnect The Rare Barometer Programme is a EURORDIS initiative that carries out surveys to transform rare disease patients' experiences into figures and facts that can be shared with decision-makers.Rare Barometer An international awareness raising campaign taking place on the last day of February each year, Rare Disease Day is a EURORDIS initiativeRare Disease Day Join the largest gathering of rare disease stakeholders across Europe, at the biennial European Conference on Rare Diseases and Orphan Products. ECRD is a EURORDIS initiativeEuropean Conference on Rare Diseases