Video from Rare Disease Congressional Caucus Briefing on PDUFA Now Available

The final Rare Disease Congressional Caucus briefing of 2016 focused on the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), the agreement between the biopharmaceutical industry and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding user fees paid by industry to supplement federal funding for human drug review.

Congress will need to reauthorize PDUFA before the current agreement expires at the end of September 2017, which will be an opportunity to include provisions to encourage the development and streamline the review of rare disease treatments.

Watch the videos to learn more from representatives from debra of America, National Health Council, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Genentech and office of U.S. Representative Leonard Lance (NJ).

Press Release: RareVoice Awards Gala Honors Rare Disease Advocates and Leaders on Capitol Hill

Contact: Stephanie Fischer

RareVoice Awards Gala to Honor Rare Disease Advocates and Leaders on Capitol Hill

Washington, DC (November 4, 2015) – Rare Disease Legislative Advocates will honor rare disease advocates and leaders on Capitol Hill at the RareVoice Awards Gala tonight.

Members of Congress will be recognized for their leadership on the 21st Century Cures Act which has several provisions critical to the rare disease community, including incentives to spur development of new therapies. Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) will be honored with Congressional Leadership Awards.

Advocates are hopeful that key provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act will be included in the Senate companion legislation, Innovation for Healthier Americans, and that the Senate will act quickly to advance it. A delay in legislation is a delay in new treatments.

Congressional staff to be honored for efforts on behalf of the rare disease community include Clay Alspach (House Energy and Commerce Committee), Saul Hernandez (Rep. G.K. Butterfield), Sara Mabry (Sen. Bob Casey), Harrison Matheny (Rep. Ryan Zinke), Molly McDonnell (Rep. Leonard Lance), and Carly McWilliams (House Energy and Commerce Committee).

Rare disease advocates to be recognized for federal advocacy include Annette Bakker (Children’s Tumor Foundation), Ronald Bartek (Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance), Noah Coughlan (Run for Rare), Woody Crouch (Sturge-Weber Foundation), Lisa and Max Schill (RASopathies Network), Steve Smith (National MPS Foundation), Steve Walker (Abigail Alliance), and Rob Whan (Caleb’s Crusade).

Rare disease advocates recognized for state advocacy include Sharon King (Taylor’s Tale), Kirsten Norgaard (Adrenal Insufficiency United), Elisa Seeger (Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation), Bruce Thompson (ALS parent advocate), and Patricia Weltin (Rare Disease United Foundation).

A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Dr. Stephen Groft for his dedication to stimulating research and advancing development of therapies during his tenure at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Thank you to Shire, the Presidential Sponsor, and other sponsors including AbbVie, Alexion, Amgen, Amicus, Genzyme, Novartis, PhRMA, Raptor, and Vertex.

Additional information is available at

 Rare Disease Legislative Advocates is a collaborative organization designed to support the advocacy of all rare disease groups. By growing the patient advocacy community and working collectively, we can amplify our many voices to ensure rare disease patients are heard in state and federal government. For more information, visit

Click here for a PDF of this press release

View the Presentations and photos from 2015 Legislative Conference


Click Here to view presentations and photos from this year’s Rare Disease Legislative Conference:

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Rare Disease Congressional Caucus Briefing: Urgent Healthcare Policy Needs of the Rare Disease Community

Rare Disease Legislative Advocates & the National MPS Society in coordination with Rare Disease Congressional Caucus Co-Chairs:
Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Joe Crowley (D-NY), held a briefing,

Urgent Healthcare Policy Needs of the Rare Disease Community

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Russell Caucus Room

Lunch Provided by event sponsors AbbVie, Alexion, Raptor, & Shire
Moderator:  Anthony J. Castaldo, President, US Hereditary Angiodema Association (HAEA)
  • Limited Access to Specialists in Private Insurance Networks, Stephanie Bozarth, National MPS Society
  • Coverage Gaps for Medically Necessary Foods, Nicole Dreyer-Gavin, PKU Parent Advocate
  • Medicare Coverage Challenges for Cystinosis Patients, Kristina Broadbelt, Patient Advocate
  • Step-wise Therapies: Negative Implications for the Health of Rare Disease Patients, Anthony J. Castaldo, President, US Heriditary Angiodema Association


Briefing Hosted by:


RDLA’s June Webinar/Conference Call


Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST

Rare Disease Congressional Caucus Briefing May 7th

Rare Disease Legislative Advocates & National Organization for Rare Disorders in coordination with
Rare Disease Congressional Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Joe Crowley (D-NY), held a briefing

“Access to Care & Therapies in the New Healthcare System: A Rare Disease Perspective”

Wednesday May 7, 2014

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Hearing Notice – 21st Century Cures: PCAST’s Report on Drug Innovation

The Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn House Office Building.  The hearing is entitled “21st Century Cures: The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Report on Drug Innovation.”  Witnesses will be announced and are by invitation only.  The hearing webcast will be available at

A bipartisan staff briefing will be held on Monday, May 19, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. in 2218 Rayburn House Office Building.  The Republican staff briefing will follow immediately after the bipartisan briefing in 2218 Rayburn.  The Democratic staff briefing will follow immediately after the bipartisan briefing in 2322 Rayburn.

If you have any questions concerning this hearing, please contact John Stone, Carly McWilliams, Paul Edattel, Brenda Destro, or Katie Novaria at (202) 225-2927.

RDLA’s May Webinar/Conference Call

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 

Click here to listen and view a recording of the call

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SCAD Alliance at Rare Disease week 2014

“As anticipated, Rare Disease Day 2014 events did not disappoint. We are taking the information we gained and are busy reaching out to new contacts to advance the mission of SCAD Alliance.” – SCAD Alliance

Read more about SCAD Alliance at Rare Disease Week in Washington D.C. 2014

RDLA Conference Call/Webinar March 2014

Our monthly conference call/webinar took place on March 20th.  You can find the agenda & slides from the call below:

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