TAMPA, Fla., March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- There are a large number of rare, previously untreatable diseases that primarily affect children—but a piece of legislation signed into law in 1983, is changing that. Thanks to the Orphan Drug Act, pharmaceutical companies receive tax credits and other incentives to focus their efforts on rare diseases. Decades later, the bill is yielding positive results. Between 2000 and 2009, the FDA reported more than three dozen approved drug treatments for rare, often fatal children's diseases, and there are more such drugs in the pipeline. According to philanthropist Jon Shirazi, however, the need to give to children's charities is as profound now as ever before.
"The advent of this new generation of medications is a tremendous reason for gratitude and for hope, but it is important to remember the many other children's diseases that remain untreated," notes Jon Shirazi. "We as a society should keep pressing for these new drugs and treatments, but we should also remember to provide relief, comfort, and care to kids who are in urgent need right now."
Jon Shirazi is a Tampa business leader with a long track record of philanthropy, much of it geared toward children. As a member of Tampa's Gentlemen's Society, Jon Shirazi has participated in fundraising endeavors for organizations like the Children's Dream Fund, which seeks to grant wishes to children with terminal conditions.
Though he remains committed to the notion that organizations like the Children's Dream Fund are integral to providing quality care for sick kids, Jon Shirazi is hopeful for the day when such organizations will play a smaller and smaller role. The latest FDA statistics bolster his hope. The philanthropist notes with enthusiasm that while child-centered drugs made up just about a fifth of new drug approvals in the early 00's, now that number is closer to a third.
But if the work being done on these drugs is important and promising, Jon Shirazi confirms that the work being done by groups like the Children's Dream Fund is equally essential. "The search for cures is inspiring and motivating to so many of us," he notes. "While it's great to look to the future, though, we must not lose sight of the ways in which we can make a difference in kids' lives right now.
Jon Shirazi is a prominent business figure from the Tampa, Florida area, but he is best known for his history of philanthropic work. As an active member of the Gentleman's Society, he is a vocal proponent and active fundraiser on behalf of numerous local and national charities.
SOURCE Jon Shirazi