Saatchi Bill moves to full consultation (22.11.13)

Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill moves to full consultation

On Friday, 22 November, 2013, the Government  agreed to full consultation on the Saatchi Bill.  

The Bill has won the backing of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who said it had the power to ‘lead to major breakthroughs, such as a cure for cancer.’

In his statement Mr Hunt said, ‘It is precisely because this issue is so important, because it affects us all, that we need a full and open consultation.’

Mr Hunt announced that a ‘full and open consultation’ will take place in the New Year to understand ‘the problems [doctors] face in innovating’ and strike ‘the right balance between innovation and safeguards’.

To read Jeremy Hunt’s full Written Ministerial Statement, click here

Lord Saatchi said: ‘I think the  Prime Minister and the Secretary of State want Britain to regain its place as the world leader  in medical innovation.’

He stressed patient safety was at the heart of his proposals. ‘We do not want reckless experimentation that puts patients at risk, and we don’t want patients to be treated like mice,’ he said.

Obtaining informed consent to take part in experimental treatments would remain essential, the peer stressed,  and doctors would retain full legal responsibility for  their decisions.

To find out more and visit the Saatchi Bill dedicated website, click here

Daily Mail article 25.11.13:

25 November 2013


The Medical Innovation Bill – update 12.09.13

The Medical Innovation Bill (the Saatchi Bill) was introduced in the House of Commons by Michael Ellis MP on Wednesday, 11th September, and passed its first stage. It will now go forward for a second reading on Friday 18th October, which will allow time for detailed Government negotiations …

For more information on the Medical Innovation Bill, click the links below:

How can you help?

If you are in favour of the Saatchi Bill, you can help by contacting your MP to ask him/her to support the Bill on its second reading:

and you can follow the Saatchi Bill on Twitter:


The Saatchi Initiative moves forward (report 09.09.13)

Lord Maurice Saatchi believes the current law is a ‘barrier to progress in curing cancer’ and says doctors are deterred from trying new forms of treatment in case they are sued.  He has set up an informal collaboration of clinicians, academics, researchers, patients and charities – The Saatchi Initiative – and is calling for the law relating to cancer treatment to be changed so doctors can have the freedom to innovate.

AMMF was pleased to lend support and welcomed this initiative from its conception – attending one of the first of the Saatchi Initiative round table meetings back in March this year.  Obviously, with Lord Saatchi’s backing and contacts, this initiative could provide a huge step forward for all aspects of the much neglected rarer cancers – long overdue and badly needed, especially considering rarer cancers represent at least 52% of all the cancers.

Lord Saatchi’s plans are moving forward.  The Saatchi Initiative, now formally The Medical Innovation Bill, will be introduced into the House of Commons on Wednesday, 11th September by Michael Ellis MP, who will make a short speech in favour of the Bill.

The hope is that this will raise awareness of the Bill, designed to help doctors innovate, so that they can advance medical science and find new and better treatments and cures for diseases and conditions including the rarer cancers, and gain public and political support for it.

Cancer52*, representing the rarer cancer charities, has been working with the Saatchi team with a shared vision of need for innovation in research and clinical practice for people with rare and less common cancers.

However, like all things, there is another side – innovation in treatments is, of course, badly needed, and no doubt there are many times a medic, when faced with a dire situation, would like to be free to try a treatment showing promise, perhaps in another country, but not yet proven here in the UK.  AMMF’s major concern is how we could allow such innovation and yet still protect the patient from reckless experimentation, or indeed from the maverick …  (To read AMMF’s original comments click here )

A Q & A document has now been produced by the Saatchi team which goes some way to allaying these concerns.  To read the Q & A document, click here

Further information on the Bill can be found here.

To read AMMF’s initial report and comment on the Saatchi Initiative, click here

To see Lord Saatchi interviewed by Andrew Marr on his Sunday morning show, 08 September, click here

* AMMF is a member of Cancer52, “the common voice for the less common cancers” – an alliance of more than 60 of the rarer and less common cancer charities, working to address the inequalities in policy, services and research in this area.

09 September 2013