Back to Rare Diseases eResource Guide: An ASHP eReport
A rare (or orphan) disease is defined as any disorder affecting less than 200,000 persons. While each individual disease may be classified as “rare”, when considered as a whole these diseases affect over 30 million Americans. The likelihood of a pharmacist being called upon to treat a patient with a rare disease is therefore quite high, but unfortunately, general knowledge and awareness of rare diseases is scarce. Healthcare providers, patients, and families often have difficulty locating reliable and up-to-date information about rare (orphan) diseases and orphan drugs.
Only limited information regarding these interesting albeit rare disorders is found in common pharmacy references. Whether or not the pharmacist has encountered a rare disease or orphan drug, patients expect a high degree of expertise and empathy. Thus, it is important that pharmacists have a basic understanding of rare diseases and the resources available to supplement care of a patient with a rare disorder.
This eReport will define rare (orphan) diseases and advance pharmacy knowledge about the diseases and related pharmacotherapy (orphan drugs). It will also evaluate rare disease resources such as the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders (CORD), Rare Diseases Europe (EURORDIS), and Orpha.net and provide a portal to the best resources available (using hyperlinks directly from the eReport).
As a gateway to these resources, most of which are not familiar to the average pharmacist, the eReport will be a valuable resource for any department of pharmacy to keep on hand.