The Orphan Drug Act of 1983 is a law passed in the United States to facilitate development of orphan drugs, drugs for rare diseases such as Huntington’s Disease, myoclonus, ALS, Tourette syndrome and muscular dystrophy which affect small numbers of individuals living in the United States.

Orphan Drug Act of 1983 (Wikipedia)
Orphan Drug Act of 1983
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to facilitate the development of drugs for rare diseases and conditions, and for other purposes.
Enacted by the 97th United States Congress
Effective January 4, 1983
Citations
Public law 97-414
Statutes at Large 96 Stat. 2049
Codification
Acts amended Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
Titles amended 21 U.S.C.: Food and Drugs
U.S.C. sections amended 21 U.S.C. ch. 9 §§ 301 et seq., 360aa
Legislative history

The Orphan Drug Act of 1983 is a law passed in the United States to facilitate development of orphan drugs — drugs for rare diseases such as Huntington's Disease, myoclonus, ALS, Tourette syndrome and muscular dystrophy which affect small numbers of individuals residing in the United States.

Orphan drug designation does not indicate that the therapeutic is either safe and effective or legal to manufacture and market in the United States. That process is handled through other offices in the US Food and Drug Administration. Instead, the designation means only that the sponsor qualifies for certain benefits from the federal government, such as reduced taxes.

In 1982 an informal coalition of supporters and families of patients with rare diseases who formed National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and others, called for change to legislation to support development of orphan drugs, or drugs for treating rare diseases. They succeeded in getting the United States Congress to pass the Orphan Drug Act (ODA) in early 1983. Only thirty-eight orphan drugs had been approved prior to the 1983 Act; by 2014 "468 indication designations covering 373 drugs have been approved." Partly as a result of the 1983 US Orphan Drug Act, Japan adopted it in 1993 as did the European Union in 2000.

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