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

Side by side

Chris Heaton-Harris’ Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill was touted as the successor to Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill, but is it? The hype suggests that the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill, a Private Member’s Bill being taken forward by Chris Heaton-Harris MP, is a direct replacement for Lord Saatchi’s much-derided Medical Innovation Bill (the Saatchi Bill). However, Saatchi’s original…