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Drugs: Orphan Medicines

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Turnberg Lord Turnberg Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the proposed national strategy for rare diseases will address the need for the research and development of orphan medicines.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Government welcome the opportunity that the 2009 European Council recommendation on a European action in the field of rare diseases presents for gathering expertise, exchanging information and best practice between member states. The department is working with the devolved Administrations and key stakeholders in developing the United Kingdom's plan for rare disease, and will ensure that the area of research and development is adequately addressed in the plan. The plan will be finalised by 2013 in line with the European Council recommendation.

The European Union Orphan Medicine Scheme already provides incentives for the development of treatments for patients with rare diseases.

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