Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill passes third reading in the House of Lords
The Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill has passed its third reading in the House of Lords, meaning it’ll soon have Royal Assent and pass into law.
The Bill is the result of a lot of hard work by Lord Saatchi and Chris Heaton-Harris MP. Lord Saatchi first championed this issue in the House of Lords with the Medical Innovation Bill in 2014, which made important progress and truly threw open the debate on the outdated systems that surround drug development and patient prescription.
Unfortunately the Medical Innovation Bill was defeated in the House of Commons. Subsequently, Chris Heaton-Harris MP took on the task and with the support of the Life Sciences Minister George Freeman he got the new Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill through the House of Commons in 2015.
This new bill was guided through the House of Lords by Lord Saatchi, and provides a real opportunity to renew the focus on patients’ rights to try innovative medicines, within a reasonable risk framework. Importantly, given Empower’s new drive for data sharing, the Bill’s proposed database of medical innovation provides a real opportunity to share innovative treatment information more widely and much faster.
Empower has long advocated appropriate access, for some patients, to certain medicines earlier in the clinical trials process. The new Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill provides a real opportunity to make that ambition a reality.
Peers were supportive of the bill and it passed its third stage without debate or dissenting voices.
You can watch the passing of the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill here (fast forward to 15:25:39)
Joining the dots
On the subject of sharing innovative treatments, Dr Stephen Lynn, the Project Manager of the TREAT-NMD Alliance, has written a piece for our website about the importance of post-marketing surveillance strategies like the database of innovative treatments. You can read it here.
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