For my first assignment, I investigated the most prominent legislation in rare disease research. In part due to the added checkpoints of the Kefauver-Harris Bill, pharmaceutical companies have allocated their resources to the research and development of treatment of common and chronic diseases with large, profitable markets. Because of this, many Americans with rare diseases were left with little to no treatment options. The outpouring of public support for legislation was influential, and led to the Orphan Drug Act (ODA) of 1983. This act incentivized the research and development of “orphan drugs” in various financial and structural ways, and has been an overall success in providing these patient populations with the luxury of multiple treatment options that others enjoy. While their are still a few kinks to be worked out as a few companies still exploit the system for unethical profit, the ODA has done great work in more evenly distributing the R&D resources.

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