Rare, debilitating and more common than you think

Rare diseases are not as rare as you think. Collectively they affect over 30 million people in Europe1 and around 350 million people across the globe.2 A Disease is called rare when it affects less than 1 in 2,000 people.

Although there are more than 7,000 different rare diseases, most of them share similar characteristics: they are often chronic, lifelong genetic conditions (72%) with childhood onset (70%).1 Most rare diseases have no cure and are associated with reduced life expectancy and decreased quality of life.1,4

The lack of awareness of rare diseases and lack of treatment options can make the entire experience, from diagnosis onwards, one of challenges and uncertainty. The complexities and challenges of diagnosing and managing each rare disease overlap greatly with many shared commonalities, and do not vary as much as the diseases themselves.

As we have done for the past 40 years, at Novo Nordisk, we stand by the rare disease heroes. We are driving innovation to discover new medicines and technologies to transform the way we diagnose, treat and care for people living with a rare disease. Together, we are driving change in rare disease. We are innovating to make everyday better.

1.Eurodis Rare Diseases Europe. What is a rare disease? Available at: https://www.eurordis.org/content/what-rare-disease. [Accessed December 2021]

2.Findacure. Rare diseases. Available at: https:// www.findacure.org.uk/rare-diseases/. [Accessed December 2021]

3.Editorial. Spotlight on rare diseases. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 2019; 7(2)75. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213- 8587(19)30006-3 [Accessed December 2021]

4.Bogart KR and Irvin VL. Health-related quality of life among adults with diverse rare disorders. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. 2017; 12:177. Available at: Health-related quality of life among adults with diverse rare disorders - PubMed (nih.gov) [Accessed June 2022]

Your Career Guide