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

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Selling the Sizzle

Re-blogged with permission from Selling the Sizzle by David Hills (@WanderinTeacake). How the Saatchi Bill campaign undermined its own public consultation To you and me, the purpose of a consultation is to consult – to seek advice and guidance from interested parties, and to use that advice to shape your plans. This is not how the people behind the Medical…

The Saatchi Bill would not preserve the Bolam Test

Guest post by Nigel Poole QC I had understood the point of the Saatchi Bill as being to re-write the Bolam test of what constitutes clinical negligence. Lord Saatchi has claimed that the existing common law of clinical negligence is an obstacle to finding a cure for cancer. So, it is surprising to read a commentary on the new draft…

The New Legal Advice

Guest post by José Miola, Professor of Medical Law at the University of Leicester The Saatchi Bill team have in the last few days added some legal advice to the new version of the proposed Bill. It appears as Annex C in the briefing note, dated 10 June 2014. The main issue, perhaps, is the continued misrepresentation regarding the way that the…

Gambling With Lives

Re-blogged with permission from Gambling With Lives by David Hills (@WanderinTeacake). The difference between maverick and quality experiment is that quality experiment is research – which new draft excludes. Dr Margaret McCartney has a way with words. When she tweeted the statement quoted above, she cut to the core – in less than 140 characters – of one of the major problems with the Medical…

Prof Baum’s concerns about the Saatchi Bill

Prof Michael Baum has written to his MP to express his concerns about the Saatchi Bill. Will you join him? Dear Mike, I’m deeply concerned about the Saatchi bill. I have been involved in cancer research for 45 years and through challenging dogma have been responsible for many innovations that have improved the length and quality of life of countless…

Saatchi Bill Goes Through The Lords for First Reading

The Telegraph reports that the Medical Innovation Bill has ‘passed its first hurdle’ in the Lords and is a ‘step closer to becoming law’. And as such, now is the time to launch our campaign website to oppose the Bill as it stands. The first reading in the Lords is just a formality. There would be no debate – those…

Does the Updated Saatchi Bill Pass the Burzynski Test?

Today, Lord Saatchi is presenting his Private Member’s Bill to the House of Lords. It is the start, he hopes, of this Bill’s passage to become law. I have previously documented about how this Bill looks like it could be a Quacks’ Charter and could even hinder medical research, against the express aims of the Bill. It is quite clear too, that the overwhelming response…