Medical Innovation Bill

In 2014, the Academy monitored the passage of the Medical Innovation Bill, submitted a response to the Department of Health's consultation and produced a number of briefing notes with partner organisations including the AMRC and Wellcome Trust.

Status: Completed

The Academy submitted a response to the Department of Health’s consultation on the Medical Innovation Bill, commonly known as the Saatchi Bill, jointly with the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. The Bill aimed to ensure that clinicians can use experimental treatments without fear of litigation, providing this is done 'responsibly' and with consent.

While the Academy and partner organisations are supportive of efforts to encourage innovation in healthcare, we raised concerned that the Bill may have implications for patients and research. For instance, we were concerned that the Bill may discourage patients from participating in clinical trials, thereby unintentionally allowing uncontrolled experimentation. We believe that medical innovation is best achieved through a robust research framework where the safety and efficacy of novel treatments can be thoroughly tested.

In our response, we highlighted that the Bill does not address the underlying issues of bureaucracy and funding of novel treatments, which are major barriers to medical innovation. We also raised concerns about the lack of provisions in the Bill for any form of follow-up or data collection to consider the effects of innovative treatments, which could lead to some patients continuing to receive untested, ineffective or potentially harmful treatments. 

The Bill failed to progress through the House of Commons after the Liberal Democrats declined to support it

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