Education and support enhance care for rare-disease patients



– Physicians in primary and specialty care can provide guidance and support to patients with rare diseases by educating themselves about the resources available, according to Tim Boyd, director of state policy for the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).

In an interview at the NORD Rare Summit, held by the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Mr. Boyd and Melinda Burnworth, PharmD, a pharmacist and NORD state volunteer from Arizona, discussed challenges faced by patients with rare diseases, including securing a correct diagnosis, accessing medication, and managing treatment going forward.

Physicians who understand some of the barriers to medication access can help advocate for their patients, explained Mr. Boyd, and those who know about resources for rare disorders can help make a diagnosis.

“All health care providers have an opportunity to enhance care for patients with rare disorders,” said Dr. Burnworth, author of the Rare Disease eResource Guide, available through the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Visit for more information about NORD’s ongoing research and advocacy efforts.

Mr. Boyd and Dr. Burnworth had no financial conflicts to disclose.

Next Article: