“We have a big innovation gap in this country when it comes to rare disease therapies. 7,000 diseases and only roughly 300 treatments on the market for those diseases. We have a long way to go and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done if we ever want to get to the point where we have one treatment for all of those diseases or even multiple treatments – and that is what our foundation is set up and designed to do.”
For our second interview before Rare Disease Day (Feb 28), we chat with Max Bronstein, Chief Advocacy and Science Policy Officer at The Everylife Foundation for Rare Diseases. The goal of the Foundation is to help advance innovation in the rare disease community; to advance knowledge and methods of support for those with a rare disease, and to ultimately look towards developing and enabling access to treatments or cures.
Max is a scientist at heart; he has been published in Nature and The New England Journal of Medicine which makes him a great ally in raising awareness of rare diseases. He uses his background in his job at The Everylife Foundation in two big ways.
One way that he uses his science background is what he calls regulatory issues. He does this by continuously holding meetings with large health and biotech and pharma partners. He speaks directly to the doctors and scientists at the forefront of cutting edge research in health and medicine and reminds them of the reality of rare diseases, a field often overlooked or forgotten.
Another way that Max is a voice for those in the rare disease community is by working in social policy issues. This is when Max sets up meetings with politicians so that the rare disease community is represented. This involves dialoguing with senators and representatives on Capitol Hill whenever drug costs, talks of healthcare, or any other issue related to the rare disease community arises, and also just to meet with them regularly to remind them of the reality of rare diseases. He regularly goes to both the White House and Congress.
Max explains these to us and walks us through a big success that The Everylife Foundation and other organizations helped push through instituted: the 21st Century Cures Act.
Keep in touch with The Everylife Foundation to keep up with all of their diverse efforts and find out how you can get involved! Visit their website at http://everylifefoundation.org, and follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EveryLife4RareDiseases/, and Twitter: @EveryLifeOrg.