Listening to Lord Maurice Saatchi

I have just returned from listening to Lord Maurice Saatchi discussing his Medical Innovation BIll which, he says, aims to create a clear path to lawful clinical innovation in cancer treatment. Lord Saatchi's Bill is his response to the loss of his wife Josephine Hart to ovarian cancer in 2011. He was dismayed by his wife's treatment options which he described as "the endless repetition of failed experiments - anything else was medical negligence" and he views current law as inhibiting medical progress.

Lord Saatchi stated that he does not seek to permit reckless experimentation, but promote bold scientific responsible innovation by making changes to the legal framework governing cancer treatments. His Bill would allow clinicians wanting to use more experimental treatments to seek authorisation from their Multi Disciplinary Team and then from a higher clinical authority. This process, which he describes as "a severe test" will then protect them from claims of medical negligence.

His Bill is getting its second reading in the Lords this week, it has several more stages to get through before it is debated in the Commons, so there is a long way to go. At the very least it will prompt a vigourous debate and make us all look at whether the current system, which he maintains stifles progress, really serves women's interests.

4 Replies

  • Hi Ruth

    I was wondering if these new drugs coming on the horizon could ever be approved by NICE without having been trialled first or whether they would be on the Drugs Fund list. I don't think so myself under the current structure. I think the only difference would be to those who could pay for the drugs themselves and could get a doctor to obtain the drug and monitor them. I don't think that's wrong in itself given what we know about this disease but The Medical Innovation Bill has implications for medical negligence cases in a wider context. Love Tina x x

  • Vigourous debate and a review of the current system seem very timely processes. Will be interesting to see what happens.

  • Thank you for posting this update - I agree with Monique it will be interesting to see what happens.

  • I agree also. I haven't spoken to Lord Saatchi but I know of someone who wrote to him when she was diagnosed and he replied personally to her saying that, if he could help her at all, he would. He gave her his contact details, etc. I will PM her details to you. Vxxx

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