NEW HOPE: Drugmakers have been shifting much of their research money away from pills for the millions to rare, often-deadly diseases with few or no treatment options. Nearly 30 million Americans have one of the 7,000 rare disorders.
THE NUMBERS: Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are running about 8,000 patient tests of potential new treatments. Nearly 1,800 research projects are for rare diseases, and hundreds more are for disorders for which there's been no new medicine in a decade or more.
THE SOURCE: The data come from a study sponsored by the trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.