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

NHS Litigation Authority

NHS Litigation Authority

We believe that this clause, as drafted, is problematical because (3)(b) envisages that responsible innovation could occur even where the proposed treatment “does not or would not have” support from a responsible body of medical opinion. This wording arguably places too great an emphasis upon the opinion of the individual doctor involved. There is no reference to research or to peer review. Both are essential considerations in our view.
Medical Innovation Bill Saatchi Bill
2014-06-04T22:43:46+01:00
We believe that this clause, as drafted, is problematical because (3)(b) envisages that responsible innovation could occur even where the proposed treatment “does not or would not have” support from a responsible body of medical opinion. This wording arguably places too great an emphasis upon the opinion of the individual doctor involved. There is no reference to research or to peer review. Both are essential considerations in our view.