A new report from the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) claims that 452 medicines and vaccines to address rare diseases are currently in development in the United States. Rare diseases, those affecting fewer than 200,000 patients, affect one in 10 Americans, or a total of 30 million individuals. According to PhRMA, 80 percent of these 7,000 different types of rare diseases and disorders are genetically based, and they include cancer, infectious diseases and neurological disorders. The report credits the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, which provided incentives to companies developing rare disease treatments, with accelerating the rate at which these therapies have been developed and approved. “As of September 15, 2013, the [Food and Drug Administration] has granted the orphan drug designation to 2,899 potential therapies,” said PhRMA.