The announcement by Congressman Henry A. Waxman that he will not seek re-election after this term has reminded all of us at NORD — and throughout the rare disease community — of how very much we honor and respect the numerous contributions of this brilliant and caring public official over his 40 years in office.
Rep. Waxman changed the course of history for the 30 million Americans with rare diseases when he took on the challenge of finding a solution to the fact that treatments were not being developed and served as the primary sponsor for the Orphan Drug Act.
At the 30th anniversary celebration of the Orphan Drug Act and NORD several months ago, Rep. Waxman spoke about that period in his career, and acknowledged very candidly that the ODA had gone on to be even more successful than anyone could have imagined at the time it was written. He also spoke about the importance of ongoing collaboration among patient advocates, government and industry to meet the needs of rare disease patients.
All of us at NORD will cherish forever the pioneering work done by Rep. Waxman, and we extend our grateful thanks for his commitment to better health for the American public, both with the ODA and the many other important pieces of legislation he sponsored and supported over the years.
View video of Rep. Waxman discussing the Orphan Drug Act at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Orphan Drug Act and NORD in Washington DC, May 2013.