One of the key tenets of the Medical Innovation Bill is that it will oblige doctors to record and share the results of incidental medical innovations in the Medical Innovation Register.
This applies to both positive and negative results.
As such, the Bill will begin to build data around innovations in a way never before seen in this country.
We know that medical innovation already happens – though this bill will encourage more innovation by setting a clear process for doctors to follow that will ensure patient safety and offer the doctor legal clarity.
But currently, there is no register for innovation, no database, no record of success or failure.
So no one can replicate those successes and avoid the failures.
Recording such data would also allow doctors and researchers to follow up on promising new therapies.
Dr David Walker, professor of paediatric oncology at the University of Nottingham says:
“If evidence started to amass under the Medical Innovation Bill, that a treatment works then it would support the establishment of new trials.
“Historically medicine has a large number of situations where new treatments have been developed by repurposing drugs for a new indication.
“Currently this step is hard to make as people say that although the drug exists, is licensed, it cannot be used off license if there is no evidence as it would be wasting money that could be spent on licensed drugs for licensed indications.
“This is particularly damaging for people with rare conditions where research is rare – this applies to cancers in particular.
“In childhood 60% of all drugs are off licenses many of our strongest treatments are a product of off license development or repurposing of drugs.”
The Medical Innovation Bill would could speed this process of re-purposing drugs up thereby enabling treatments to get to patients quicker.
Prof Walker added that this would create a system where the recording of pre-trial results of therapeutic innovation would become “a recognised and appreciated step in the drug selection process, particularly in rare conditions.”
“It could help to reduce the risks of failed trials”