Stop the Saatchi Bill

Driven by an extraordinary two-year PR campaign on social media and a supportive newspaper partner, this all started as Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill, metamorphosed through several versions, and was resurrected under a new name by Chris Heaton-Harris, before finally clearing its last hurdle in the Lords this week to become the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Act. Pretty much the only thing they share is the word 'Innovation' in the title.

One day, it may be possible for politicians to ask the people who actually work in the medical field: what are the problems you face, and how can we help you overcome them?

One day, politicians may actually listen to the answers they receive, and thus try to tackle genuine problems rather than imagined ones.

One day, politicians, medics, researchers, lawyers, patient groups, charities, and the public, may work together to overcome the barriers to the development and provision of new treatments.

But it is not this day.

Read more: Not this day

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Never say you’re wrong

PR means never having to say you’re wrong — Charles Prentiss, Absolute Power The PR campaign for the Medical Innovation Bill grinds on. Sir Michael Rawlins was on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme on 7th September, extolling what he felt were the virtues of the Saatchi Bill. As well as undermining his own argument by pointing out that: We use lots…

The (fourth?) draft of the Medical Innovation Bill

Drafts of the Medical Innovation Bill are strewn everywhere. Even before its latest incarnation, there had been several previous attempts by Lord Saatchi to get his Bill through both Houses; at one time, there were Bills simultaneously weaving their tortuous route through both the House of Commons and the House of Lords under a rarely used No. 2 bill procedure, used…

The new amendments – the Bill that eats itself

Guest post by José Miola, Professor of Medical Law at the University of Leicester The Medical Innovation Bill has now received more amendments by Lord Saatchi, which now makes this the fourth version of the Bill. The new amendments cover two principal issues: the process that the innovator has to go through in order for the decision to innovate to…