The importance of legislation in developing orphan drugs


  • Ye. Zgîrcu Nicolae Testemitanu State University of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Republic of Moldova, Moldova, Republic of



rare diseases, orphan drugs, orphan drugs legislation, orphan drugs development


The aim of this study is to conduct the analysis of legislation in the field of orphan drugs in world practice. The review of literature has shown that significant achievements in research and development of orphan drugs have really begun only after adopting different laws and regulations followed by development of therapies for rare diseases. About 7000 rare diseases affect over 350 million people worldwide and have a negative impact on patients and their families. The research and development in the field of orphan drugs are difficult processes because of the lack of understanding the mechanism of the disease and due to the high cost of these processes. Therefore, to encourage the research in this field many countries have developed and implemented legislations that offer stimuli, support and assistance to drug manufacturers, starting with the formulation of these drugs up to receiving the marketing authorization. The Orphan Drug Act was firstly adopted in the United States in 1983. As a result, in the first ten years, 620 drugs became orphan, and 87 received the marketing authorization. Following the great impact of this act, Japan, Australia and the European Union later adopted such policies. Currently, 89 orphan drugs covering 12 ATC groups have been authorized in Europe.


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Organizational and socio-economic bases of pharmaceutical activities