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FP7

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on Rare Diseases: Europe's challenges, COM(2008) 679 final

Funded under: FP7-HEALTH

Abstract

Rare diseases are diseases with a particularly low prevalence; the European Union considers diseases to be rare when they affect not more than 5 per 10 000 persons in the European Union. This still nevertheless means than between 5 000 and 8 000 different rare diseases affect or will affect an estimated 29 million people in the European Union.
The specificities of rare diseases - limited number of patients and scarcity of relevant knowledge and expertise - single them out as a distinctive domain of very high European added-value. European cooperation can help to ensure that scarce knowledge can be shared and resources combined as efficiently as possible, in order to tackle rare diseases effectively across the EU as a whole.
The Commission has already taken specific steps in many areas to address the issues of rare diseases. Building on those achievements, this Communication on Europe's Challenges in the field of Rare Diseases aims to be an integrated approach document, giving clear direction to present and future Community activities in the field of rare diseases in order to further improve the access and equity to prevention, diagnosis and treatment for patients suffering from a rare disease throughout the European Union.

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Record Number: 9669 / Last updated on: 2008-01-12
Category: COM DOCUMENT