Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has told patients in England and Wales that he will pass the Medical innovation Bill into law if the public tell him they want it.
Patients, doctors and lawyers have responded in their thousands telling him they want the Bill – and, crucially, why.
Officials at the Department of health tell us that it isn’t enough just to tick the ‘Yes’ box – they want to see reasons too. You have been telling him your stories, through the Change.Org response form which goes straight to the civil servants analysing the responses at the department.
Thank you for this.
Yet, we know that even though people want the Bill, there is a real danger that officials will remain unmoved. Don’t give them the option to ignore you. That’s why we’re holding this Facebook chat – to hear your stories, to inspire each other to respond, to tell civil servants who control the consultation that this is a democracy and that you want the Bill.
Join our Facebook Chat April 15th 8pm on our Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/1fOcOUG
But the Bill isn’t the only game in town – it is part of a bigger movement for medical innovation and the search or new treatments for so-far incurable diseases, like Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy, for example. The Saatchi Bill Team has been working with Empower Access To Medicine, Harrison’s Fund, cancer charities, patient groups and many others to support each other as a community of patients and carers who want to see lives saved and changed for the better.
Empower Access to Medicine wants to speed up access to new drugs therapies. At the moment drug trials and development take years. But patients who are dying don’t have time to spare. So Empower has persuaded the Department of Health to allow patients and doctors to use promising drug therapies before they have finished the full trials process.
It’s a great achievement.
James Hargrave, Empower says: “Both Empower: Access to Medicine and Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill are working to put patients at the heart of medicine. Doctors must be allowed the space to innovate responsibly without fear or favour – but to be able to do this the drug development process needs to be fit for purpose so that there are innovative treatments for them to use.
“The time has come for medical regulation to match modern medicine.”
The Saatchi Bill will, if passed, support doctors who want to use such medicines early – by giving them confidence to prescribe them without the risk of being sued – as long as they get the consent of other senior doctors and the patient.
So, the Saatchi Bill is vital part of a bigger picture. The Bill alone will make a big difference. But in alliance with all the work and big campaigns by Empower and others, we will be unstoppable.
The consultation ends on 25 April. Don’t let officials say that you didn’t want the Bill. Please respond.
Sign the petition: http://chn.ge/1pqY6lS
Join our Facebook chat tonight, April 15th, at 8pm on the Saatchi Bill Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SaatchiBill
Sign the petition for the Medical Innovation Bill: http://chn.ge/1pqY6lS