Due to the scarcity of patients and knowledge, rare diseases (RDs), affecting less than 1 in 2000 individuals, is the area in public health in which joint efforts among European Member States (MS) are most justified and crucial.
The Directive 2011/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare establishes the creation of the European Reference Networks (ERNs) based on national recognized Centres of Expertise, aiming to tackle complex or RDs and conditions that require highly specialised treatment and concentration of knowledge and resources. In accordance with Article 12 of the Directive, the first 24 ERNs were established in March 2017, being one of them ERN-EuroBloodNet, the ERN on Rare Hematological Diseases (RHDs).
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