The Voice of Rare Disease
Patients in Europe
Rare disease game changers at ECRD 2016
The 8th edition of the European Conference on Rare Diseases & Orphan Products (ECRD 2016) brought together over 750 attendees from nearly 50 countriesin Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
Over 120 session chairs, speakers and panelists led discussions on the theme of game changers in rare diseases and exchanged on game-changing policies and initiatives in research, diagnosis, drug development, authorisation and access, care provision, social policy and global society.
See the ECRD 2016 Executive Summary including the game changers identified in the conclusions of each theme, the ECRD 2016 conference photos and the 200+ posters.
Videos of the opening, plenary and closing plenary sessions, are also available, including:
- A keynote address from Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, Scottish Government, whose much tweeted quote on rare disease patients set the tone of the conference, “It's not just ‘What's the matter with you?’ but ‘What matters to you?’ ”.
- A keynote from Professor Tom Shakespeare from Norwich Medical School, UK, who spoke on the medicalisation of disability and said, “Human beings come in different shapes and sizes, we need to change the world to accept that fact, not change us to fit into the world”.
- Alastair Kent, Director of Genetic Alliance UK, who said, “As patients and families we are part of the solution and we demand to have our voice heard”.
- An inspiring youth advocates panel in which 6 youth panelists talked about their personal rare disease stories and also discussed the importance of social media in connecting the rare disease community.
- A speech from Xavier Prats Monné, Director General of the Directorate-General for Health & Food Safety, European Commission, who said, “Our priority is and will continue to be supporting rare diseases and European Reference Networks”.
All conference speaker presentations are available by clicking on the links in speakers’ names in the theme dropdown menus on Friday’s agenda and Saturday’s agenda.
ECRD 2016 is unique in involving the entire rare disease community (patient representatives, academics, healthcare professionals, industry, payers, regulators and policy makers) across all rare diseases and borders, and encourages knowledge sharing between participants from countries all over Europe and the world.
The transformational nature of the outcomes from ECRD 2016 will be to help inform EU policies, theCommission Expert Group on Rare Diseases, the EU Joint Action on Rare Diseases 'RD-Action', the EU Health Programme and the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 'Horizon 2020'.
Save the date for the next ECRD, 10 – 12 May 2018 in Vienna, Austria!
Eva Bearryman, Junior Communications Manager, EURORDIS