Rare disease registries: a call to action

Document Type

Journal Article


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

Place of Publication



School of Medical and Health Sciences




Originally published as: Lacaze, P., Millis, N., Fookes, M., Zurynski, Y., Jaffe, A., Bellgard, M., ... & Bittles, A. H. (2017). Rare disease registries: a call to action. Internal Medicine Journal, 47(9), 1075-1079. Article available here.


When registries collect accurate clinical data over time, they can act as fundamental support structures for patients and their families and powerful cost-effective instruments to support clinical trials and translational research to improve quality of care, quality of life and survival. Registries are critical for rare diseases (RD) with low prevalence and propensity for variation in treatment and outcomes. Rare Voices Australia is leading a call for action to the research and clinical community to prioritise RD data collection and develop an integrated RD Registry strategy for Australia. Financial, operational and governance challenges exist for establishing and maintaining RD registries. As a multidisciplinary team whose interests converge on RD, we highlight the need for the establishment of an Australian RD Registry Alliance. This ‘umbrella’ organisation will: (i) bring together existing RD registries across Australia; (ii) establish National RD Registry Standards to support interoperability and cohesion across registries; (iii) develop strategies to attract sustainable funding from government and other sources to maximise the utility of existing RD registries and support the development of new RD registries. The most important role for the Alliance would be to use the RD registries for translational research to address current knowledge gaps about RD and to improve the care for the over 1.4 million Australians estimated to live with RD.



Access Rights