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

Call to action!

Stop the new Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill now!
Deadline: Thursday 15th October 2015
Tell your MP the facts:

…that the Bill does nothing to encourage innovation.

2015-10-06T17:45:15+00:00

…that the Bill does not improve access to treatments.

2015-10-06T17:45:49+00:00

…that the current law does not deter doctors from innovating

2015-10-06T18:01:33+00:00

…that the Bill is not backed by doctors.

2015-10-06T18:02:39+00:00

…that the bill removes patient protections but protects maverick doctors.

2015-10-08T20:33:01+00:00

…that the Bill does not just apply to cancer or terminally ill patients.

2015-10-08T20:33:28+00:00

…that the Bill is not required to set up a database.

2015-10-08T20:33:58+00:00

…that the Bill’s database will not improve access to innovative treatments.

2015-10-08T20:34:20+00:00

…that the Bill does not ensure patient confidentiality.

2015-10-08T20:34:43+00:00

…that the Bill does not prevent private companies getting hold of your data.

2015-10-08T20:35:04+00:00

We need your help.

We need you to make sure your MP knows the facts about Chris Heaton-Harris’s Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill, which will have its Second Reading in the House of Commons this coming Friday, 16th October. This is an important opportunity for MPs to discuss and thoroughly scrutinise the Bill.

This new Bill is being touted as the successor to Lord Saatchi’s widely-condemned Medical Innovation Bill, which failed to pass in the last Parliament.

Chris Heaton-Harris says he has understood and listened to the concerns of medical, legal and patient groups who warned the Medical Innovation Bill would be a danger to patients. But the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill now being proposed is simply the same old Medical Innovation Bill dressed up with a new section that purports to set up a database of ‘innovative’ treatments.

Meanwhile, Lord Saatchi’s original Medical Innovation Bill has been resurrected in exactly the same form that drew so much criticism in the last Parliament. It will soon be read in the Lords before passing on to the Commons. Saatchi is even trying to rush his Bill through the Lords in one day with no further scrutiny. This means there are now two Bills before Parliament, and both are a danger to patients.

We need your MP to be there, critically scrutinise and expose the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill, to amend it or vote it down.

Why?

This Bill is a danger to patients, damaging to research and an unmitigated legal mess that protects negligent and maverick doctors and does nothing to improve access to any treatment, innovative or otherwise. It provides no funding for treatments. It provides no funding for research.

There are many myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding both Bills: we have highlighted some of them in our fact sheet Exposing the myths: The Medical Innovation Bills (see also below).

So please take a few minutes to write to your MP and ask him or her to make sure they are fully aware of the Bill and its problems, ask them to be there for the debate and to oppose the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill.

MPs don’t like receiving multiple identical emails from their constituents: it’s far better to say it in your own words, but we want to help make it easy for you.

Please select the myths from fact sheet Exposing the myths: The Medical Innovation Bills that are important to you and let your MP know.

Alternatively, send him or her the complete fact sheet.

The text of the fact sheet can be downloaded here in plain text format to make it easier to copy into an email.

Write now

You can write to your MP directly, or use the convenient Write to Them website: all you have to do is enter your postcode below and click on Submit and you will be taken directly to the Write To Them website.

Lots of identical emails may not be delivered and it is a breach of Write to Them’s terms and conditions, so please make the words your own, highlighting the key points you want to make about the Bill. A personally-written email will have more impact and is more likely to persuade. Please also keep it polite and to the point and remember to include your name and address so they know it’s one of their constituents who is concerned about the Bill.

Many MPs return to their constituencies on Fridays. We need your MP in the Chamber to oppose this Bill on Friday 16th October, so please do this as soon as possible to give them as much notice as possible.

Write to your MP
Enter your Postcode: