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Is orphan drug research a distraction from more important research?

Conducting research to find treatments for rare diseases and finding cures for widespread epidemics are not mutually exclusive work. Knowledge obtained from researching rare diseases can often have wide-reaching benefits. Studies of the prion disease kuru, for instance, led to increased understanding of more widespread prion diseases, a better handle on the threat of mad cow disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.