Medical Innovation Bill is passed by Lords and sent to Commons at third reading

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Maurice Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill was passed by the House of Lords and sent to the Commons following its third reading in the House of Lords on 23rd January 2015.


→READ: The full transcript of the debate in Hansard

→READ: The Bill as amended at third reading

There were two amendments tabled from Lord Winston and Lord Hunt both of which were supported and signed by Lord Saatchi.

We are thrilled that Lord Hunt’s amendment on the Medical Innovation Register was accepted.

This unprecedented register of innovation, which has been called for by many organisations and individuals, will make it a mandatory requirement for anybody using the Bill to register the treatment and the outcome, both positive and negative.

It moves treatments that without sharing and transparency could become just an anecdote into sharable evidence that can be used to treat other patients and inform clinical trials.

Oxford University have already offered to host the Medical Innovation Register and the Medical Innovation Bill team is consulting widely on how the register will be set-up, managed and funded. We will keep our website updated with all the latest developments.

The Bill has now moved to the House of Commons and is a step closer to helping patients receive novel and innovative treatments.

Thanks so much for your support so far.

During the third reading Lord Kakkar said:

“Clearly, providing transparency and the opportunity for sharing the outcomes of such innovations rapidly and broadly across clinical communities in this country and internationally is of so much importance.

It will allow colleagues to understand what has been achieved and not achieved; it will allow those with other ideas to build on knowledge gained from experience to date; and it will ensure that through transparency we have the best opportunity to ensure the greatest patient protection.”

Lord Kakkar is professor of surgery at University College London and a member of the General Medical Council.

During the third reading Lord Giddens said:

“Science is a collective enterprise. It depends on the accumulation of evidence. It is crucial that that be recognised formally somewhere in the Bill, with this embodied as part of the advancement of scientific progress more generally”


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Case study

Lord Ribeiro, a British surgeon who served as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England from 2005 to 2008. Shared a very interesting case from the 1990s which demonstrates both the need and benefits of having a innovation register.

“My Lords, many noble Lords will remember the disasters that occasioned the introduction of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the 1990s.

Quite a few patients suffered as a result of the innovation of our surgeons playing with a new instrument, new tools and a new operation.

At the time, I was secretary of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland.

In recognising the problems, we introduced a voluntary register of all surgeons undertaking the procedure and got a very good response.

Admittedly, it was not compulsory and not every surgeon introduced their data to it, but the net effect was that when we analysed our data we were able to identify where many of the problems lay.

That led to further research and proper control trials in the procedure. We were able to turn to that from an innovation used by a succession of surgeons as and when they felt necessary, without any good evidence on how best to use it.

On that basis, and mindful of the benefits that we saw in the 1990s, I would very much support some form of register to ensure that, if an innovation is introduced, we have the information, can go back and refer to it again, learn from the mistakes and improve the outcome.”

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