Dr. Markku Toivonen, Scientific Director at NDA Group, held a talk at this year’s EURORDIS Summer School on Medical Research and Clinical Trial Methodology. EURORDIS is committed to empowering people living with rare diseases and set up its annual Summer School to provide training and hands-on experience on clinical trials, drug development and the EU regulatory processes. Around 40 participants took part, selected dependent on their English language skills, experience in rare disease advocacy, and their willingness to be involved in drug development and regulatory affairs at the European level. During Markku’s session on clinical research, he discussed the need for greater evidence-based medicine, the lifecycle of drug development from pre-clinical (specifically of orphan medicinal products) and the stages of drug development. After, Markku followed with a session on clinical trials, specifically looking at the ‘Gold Standards’. This year’s school was held between 17-21 June 2013 in Barcelona. For more information, please see: http://www.eurordis.org/content/eurordis-summer-school-patient-advocates.