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EU health research on rare diseases

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In the European Union, a disease is considered rare when it affects not more than 1 person in 2 000. This low prevalence is the common feature shared by all rare diseases, which altogether affect all biological systems. This nevertheless means that between 6 000 and 8 000 different rare diseases affect or will affect an estimated 29 million people in the European Union. The focus of rare diseases research in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7; 2007-2013) is on Europe-wide studies of natural history, pathophysiology and on the development of preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

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