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

David Hills

Not this day

So the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill now passes into law. 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…

Pass the Parcel

Has the Saatchi Bill finally been tamed? Only time (and Lord Saatchi himself) can tell. The Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill has passed through the House of Commons and had its First Reading in the House of Lords. A Bill that first appeared more than two years ago as the Medical Innovation Bill (also known as the Saatchi Bill)…

End of the Road?

Has the Saatchi Bill, which has haunted medical groups and patient safety advocates for more than two years, finally run out of steam? As you will surely recall, the Medical Innovation Bill (the “Saatchi Bill”), promoted by Lord Saatchi in the last Parliament, aimed to “promote innovation” in medicine by removing patient protections against negligent treatment. Almost universally opposed by…

The Money Resolution: Part 3 – Experimental Treatment and Clinical Research

George Freeman: I want to stress that this Bill, which has a very different structure from the original Bill introduced by Lord Saatchi, has nothing to do with research at all. A great many confident claims were made about Chris Heaton-Harris’ Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill (AMTIB) at its Money Resolution debate on 3rd November, both by Heaton-Harris himself…

A Dangerous Game

In its tacit support for the Saatchi Bill, the Department of Health is playing with patient safety Let me take this opportunity, on the question of the Government’s support, to reiterate that this is a private Member’s Bill. This is not a Government Bill. — George Freeman MP, Adjournment Debate on Medical Innovation Bill, 9th December 2014 To the casual observer,…

A Deadly Hydra

Lord Saatchi’s much-criticised Medical Innovation Bill has risen again, while a second Bill echoes Saatchi under a new name. Both Bills put patients “at grave risk” When Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill ran out of time in the last Parliament, it was a cause for great relief. A Bill that had been widely condemned by medical and patient protection groups, medical…

Two for the Price of One

What could be better than the Saatchi Bill? Two Saatchi Bills, if Lord Saatchi is to be believed. But we’ll all pay a high price for this Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer. On 18th June 2015, an extraordinary letter was published in the Independent, opposing Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill, which has been resurrected and returned to the House of Lords after being…

Saatchi’s Bill could harm thousands

The Medical Innovation Bill, which would leave patients unprotected in the face of reckless medical experimentation, is before Parliament once more. The prospect should worry all of us [The Lib Dems] have killed the Medical Innovation Bill. It is dead. By killing the Bill they have killed the hopes of thousands of cancer patients. It is as simple as that.…

Rearranging the Deckchairs

How the Lords Couldn’t Fix the Saatchi Bill Despite claims that the Medical Innovation Bill has been fully amended and is now strengthened, it remains unfit for purpose. The vast majority of amendments offered by Lord Saatchi’s colleagues to try to remedy the many faults of the bill were discarded. Of the more than 2000 words of amendments independently proposed…

Quackographic

The Saatchi Bill campaign has come up with an infographic showing how they claim the Bill would work in practice. Although I’ve already produced a flowchart to show where that infographic is wrong (spoiler alert: it’s wrong about everything), the estimable @lexistwit has gone one further, and created his own replacement for the infographic itself. Here’s how it should have…