ERCAL Announces Changes in Leadership: Welcomes New President and Chairman of the Board

On the basis of a majority vote of the ERCAL Board of Directors, including Dr. Roberto Giugliani, Dr. Ignacio Zarante, Diego Gil Cardozo (President of FECOER), Maria Elena Almendariz (President of FEPER), and Richard Salvatierra (President of AHF), and with the abstention vote of Sylvia Hafez, the decision was taken to implement a change in ERCAL’s organizational leadership.

ERCAL is pleased to announce the appointment of Diego Gil Cardozo as the new Interim President. As current president of FECOER, and with vast experience in the Rare Disease landscape of Latin America, Diego brings a strong commitment to ERCAL’s mission. His leadership will be instrumental in guiding ERCAL forward. We are also delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Roberto Giugliani as Chairman of the Board of ERCAL. Both of these appointments have also been voted on by a majority of ERCAL’s Board of Directors, cited above.

We express our gratitude to both Diego Gil Cardozo and Dr. Roberto Giugliani for stepping into their new roles and their commitment to advancing ERCAL’s mission. We are confident that under their leadership, ERCAL will continue to make strides in addressing the challenges faced by individuals with rare diseases in the region.

Additionally, we are pleased that these leadership changes are also supported by the 10 Latin American patient advocacy organizations that have been working and will continue to work with us to advance ERCAL’s mission and vision.

Enfermedades Raras en el Caribe y América Latina (ERCAL) is an initiative born from the need for regional policy and action plans for rare diseases. ERCAL aims to bridge the gap in rare diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) by working closely with local patient advocacy groups, the region’s leading researchers and physicians, medical societies, and non-governmental organizations committed to improving care for rare diseases. Our mission is to engage stakeholders to collaborate in bridging the gaps in rare diseases and raise awareness in the LAC region.


Bandera Urguguay

Task force created to work on rare disease patient and family law – In the first days of September, a working group was officially set up in Parliament with the aim of drafting a bill that takes into account the demands of rare disease patients and their families. This is the second part of the Resolution Rare 4 campaign, led by Eurordis (European Organization for Rare Diseases) and the International Committee for Rare Diseases.

Bandera Perú

Regulation of Law No. 29698, Law that declares of National Interest and Preferential Attention the Treatment of persons suffering from Rare or Orphan Diseases.

Bandera Panamá

Panama currently has Law 28 of October 28, 2014, which guarantees social protection to the population suffering from rare, infrequent and orphan diseases. The national interest in rare diseases is recognized by the State, seeking to guarantee access to health services, treatment and rehabilitation for people diagnosed with these diseases, in order for citizens to benefit from the different plans, programs and public health strategies to improve the quality and life expectancy of patients.

Bandera México

Internal REGULATIONS of the Commission for the Analysis, Evaluation, Registration and Follow-up of Rare Diseases – Aims to regulate the organization and operation of the Commission for the Analysis, Evaluation, Registration and Follow-up of Rare Diseases, as well as to establish the procedure and criteria to be followed for the definition, registration and follow-up of those diseases that should be considered as rare and, if necessary, the exclusion of those already defined as such.

Standing Commission Gazette
General Health Law

Bandera Colombia

Law 1392, 2010: by which it is recognized that orphan diseases represent a problem of special interest in health, given their low prevalence in the population, but their high cost of care, they require within the Social Security Health System an insurance mechanism different from that used for general diseases, including high-cost diseases, and highly specialized care processes with a large administrative follow-up component.

National Decree 1954 de 2012: “Whereby provisions are issued to implement the information system for patients with orphan diseases”. 

Agreement 537, 2013: by which the design and implementation of a strategy on the promotion of early detection, follow-up, rehabilitation and surveillance of people affected by orphan diseases in the Capital District.

bandera de chile

Law N° 20.850, june, 2015: This Law provides financial protection for specific health conditions, such as oncological, immunological and rare or infrequent diseases, which have been determined through a Supreme Decree of the Ministry of Health.

bandera brasil


In Brazil, neonatal screening for rare diseases has been implemented since 2001 and, since 2009, a national policy for comprehensive care in clinical genetics has been in place.

Policy for the Integral Attention to Subjects with Rare Diseases: establishing guidelines for offering comprehensive care (diagnosis, treatment and/or long term management) to individuals affected by rare diseases in the public unified health system (the same definition of World Health Organization for rare diseases, as those affecting less than 65 out of 100,000 individuals, was used). This policy defines an annual plan of action and financial and logistical support, and envisages the establishment of a national database (important for facilitating the access to high cost drugs, genetic tests, for instance) and the creation of reference treatment centers. These centers should be able to evaluate patients, perform genetic testing procedures, diagnose, treat and offer genetic counseling. The policy defines the two main axes, genetic and non-genetic rare diseases. In addition, it divides the genetic rare diseases in 3 groups: congenital anomalies & late-onset diseases, intellectual disability and metabolic disorders. In this fashion, genetic services in SUS will be installed and funded not by themselves, but as part of the more general policy of rare diseases.

Bandera Argentina

Law 26689. Comprehensive health care for people with rare diseases.– The purpose of this law is to promote comprehensive health care for people with Rare Diseases (RDD) and to improve the quality of life for them and their families.

Decree 794/2015. Regulation of Law 26689.

Resolution 2329/2014. National Program for Rare Diseases and Congenital Anomalies. The National Program of Rare Diseases and Congenital Anomalies is hereby created under the orbit of the national direction of community medicine, under the subsecretary of community medicine, maternity and children, of the Ministry of Health of the Nation.

Resolution 240/2019. Internal operating regulations of the National Commission for Patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Whereby the internal operating regulations of the NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR PATIENTS WITH SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY were approved.

Resolution 1453/2019. National Commission for Patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy to operate within the orbit of the Rare Diseases Program. The NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR PATIENTS WITH SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY is hereby created, which shall operate within the Rare Diseases Program of the National Directorate of Maternity, children and adolescents under the Secretariat of Health Promotion and Prevention and Risk Control.

Resolution 1115/2020. Guarantee the continuity of coverage for the treatment of patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, in types I, II and IIIA. Health Insurance Agents and Prepaid Medicine Entities must guarantee the continuity of coverage for the treatment of patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, types I, II and IIIA.