WASHINGTON, DC —Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have been named Senate co-chairs of the Rare Disease Congressional Caucus to bring public and Congressional awareness to the unique needs of the rare disease community. Their new role is an opportunity to work with patients, physicians, scientists, and industry to create opportunities to address roadblocks in access to and development of crucial treatments. The Caucus works to give a permanent voice to the rare disease community on Capitol Hill and highlight the broad benefits of work on rare disease.
“While there are about 7,000 known rare diseases, there are fewer than 500 drugs approved to treat any of those conditions,” Klobuchar said. “It is critical that we work together to increase the number of safe, effective, and affordable treatments that are available for people with rare diseases. I have long worked with Senator Hatch on this issue and I look forward to continuing this work as a Senate Co-Chair of the Rare Disease Congressional Caucus.”
“Throughout my time in the Senate, I have worked hard to help the 30 million Americans with rare diseases,” said Hatch. “While we have seen great success from past achievements like the Orphan Drug Act, the fact that 95 percent of rare diseases have no treatment shows that much more needs to be done. Senator Klobuchar has been a terrific partner on legislation to get vital treatments to patients in need, and I am honored to join her as Senate Co-Chairs of the Rare Disease Congressional Caucus.”
Klobuchar is a leader in efforts to boost innovation and provide safe options in the treatment of rare diseases. She has consistently called for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health and medical research, which is critical to fueling the next generation of biomedical breakthroughs such as the treatment of rare diseases. She also introduced the OPEN Act with Senator Hatch to increase the number of safe, effective, and affordable treatments that are available for people with rare diseases.