Recognizing Rare Disease Day (February 28th)Jillian Yang
Rare Disease Day is dedicated to solidarity and raising awareness of the rare diseases that affect about 300 million people worldwide. Technically, it’s observed on February 29th, the rarest date possible…but in non-leap years, such as 2023, Rare Disease Day is observed on February 28th. It was first observed in 2008. Since then, it’s grown into a global movement to promote equity in healthcare access and social opportunity for individuals living with rare diseases.
Why is Rare Disease Day Important?
Rare Disease Day is important because it brings awareness to the rare conditions that are often overlooked and under-researched because of how uncommon they are. To be considered a rare disease, a condition must affect fewer than one in 2,000 people.
Globally, approximately 300 million people live with rare diseases. Although this might sound like a lot of people, keep in mind that this is the total number of people living with all known rare diseases. To put it into perspective, about 3.5 to 5.9 percent of the world’s population lives with a rare disease.
In many cases, people living with rare diseases face significant financial and social burdens that prevent them from receiving the care they need…if an established standard of care even exists. With many rare diseases, the medical community has little scientific knowledge and quality information about the conditions, creating a landscape where it’s easy for patients to be misdiagnosed and/or have their needs go unmet.
Rare Disease Day raises awareness of these diseases and the challenges people living with them face. One of the biggest challenges in this area is the crossover between many rare diseases’ symptoms and more common conditions’ symptoms, which often leads to rare diseases being misdiagnosed as other, more common conditions. When a patient’s condition is incorrectly diagnosed, they can go years without appropriate treatment, which can lead to a worsened prognosis, worsened symptoms and in certain cases, comorbidities arising. By highlighting these facts, Rare Disease Day aims to open up conversations in the medical community to include rare diseases and people living with them to ensure that these patients get equal access to diagnosis, treatment and advocacy.
Helping in the Fight against Rare Diseases
As one of the nations top specialty pharmacy distributors, it’s our mission to make sure specialty medications and medical products reach the patients who need them. For us, raising the signal about Rare Disease Day each year is part of that mission. Greater awareness of rare diseases leads to more conversations between patients, caregivers and healthcare providers, which leads to greater support and better outcomes for patients.
BioCareSD is proud to serve as a leader in specialty distribution for more than 40 years. We strive every day to deliver unparalleled service to our patients and partners and, most importantly, to provide patients across the country with fast and easy access to life-saving medications. To learn more about partnering with BioCareSD, please contact us here.