Belgium, UK and Germany move forward in the fight against rare diseases

All three countries presented recently their national Plans and Strategies

March 17, 2014

According to the latest issue of orphaNews, the newsletter of the European Union Committee of Experts on Rare Diseases, three countries have recently presented their Plans and Strategies in the fight against rare diseases. National plans and documents organizing the fight against rare diseases in European countries are necessary to reach a more harmonized and effective clinical care. Belgium, UK and Germany did a new step forward.

NHS England released details of implementation plans for the first UK strategy for rare diseases, which was published by the Department of Health in 2013. The UK Strategy for Rare Diseases contained a total of 51 commitments which all four countries have agreed to achieve by 2020. This is the first strategy of its kind, aiming to help build an understanding of rare diseases and boost research in this important area of healthcare.

On the other hand, Belgium, especially Orphanet Belgium, has been actively engaged in creating a Rare Disease Plan for Belgian patients. The plan was made public by the Belgian Minister of Health on the 6th of February 2014 (DutchFrench). The Belgian Plan for Rare Diseases consists of 20 actions, grouped into four domains, forming a comprehensive framework for managing care plan for patients affected by a rare disease.

Finally, Germany has elaborated and adopted the National Plan for Rare Disease in September 2013, which will guide and structure actions in rare diseases within their health and social systems. An English version of this plan is now available on the NAMSE website.

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