A rare disease is defined by the European Union as one that affects less than 5 in 10,000 of the general population. There are between 6,000 and 8,000 known rare diseases. Our information page on rare disease contains further information. Our list of supporters provides an insight into the range of rare diseases, please be aware that this it is not a comprehensive list of all rare conditions.
The UK Strategy for Rare Diseases is a six year vision for rare disease diagnosis, care, treatment and research in the UK incorporating 51 commitments that must be achieved by 2020. Systematically implemented across the four nations of the UK it can deliver high quality healthcare to patients and families with rare diseases.
Patients tell us that one of the hardest things about having a rare condition is that often their doctor may not have much information about the condition. We have answered a number of key questions about finding information and support.
Additionally our parent organisation Genetic Alliance UK can point you in the direction of patient groups with more information, or help you search for medical literature alone. Please note that they are not medically trained (and so cannot offer you medical advice about your condition, or the management and treatment of it).
If you are a supporter of Rare Disease UK, but not a member of our parent charity Genetic Alliance UK, you might want to consider joining. Membership is only open to patient groups, not individuals, and in joining you would:
- Be part of a united and respected voice for everyone affected by genetic conditions and have a say in what Genetic Alliance UK’s message is.
- Get priority notification and access to Genetic Alliance UK events including: information workshops, our annual conference and opportunities to shape health policy by contributing to charters and manifestos.
- Have access to over 20 years of experience in policy and campaigning work, information production and patient support
If you are interested in joining please visit the Genetic Alliance UK join page for further information, or to fill in an application form.