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THE NEW BILL
A new Medical Innovation Bill has been drafted following the Department of Health’s public consultation into the Medical Innovation Bill which ended on 25 April 2014.
The consultation was designed to gather opinions as to whether the Bill was wanted and how it might best work. In other words, it was intended to obtain robust feedback in order to improve on the draft Bill.
The overwhelming response from the more than 18,000 patients, doctors and institutions who responded was a clear vote in favour of the Bill.
The Bill team does not wish the Bill to be used as a guise for reckless experimentation and thus, the Bill states that it may only be used in the best interests of the individual patient.
Respondents also gave firm feedback that the Bill must be clearer on how it was to ensure that there was no room for the quack to use the Bill as cover for reckless experimentation.
So the new draft Bill is explicit and clear – a doctor who wishes to innovate cannot claim protection under the Bill without using a transparent and accountable process to consult a range of expert colleagues, including the doctor’s responsible officer and any relevant multi-disciplinary team, – only with broad consensus from colleagues will a doctor feel safe in relying on the protection provided by the Bill, which is the intention.
Sharing innovation data
Many also argued that for the Bill to work and to drive new treatments for hard to cure and currently fatal diseases data from innovative treatments must be collected and be capable of being shared among patients and doctors in an open, transparent and accessible manner.
Recognising the importance of collecting evidence and data from innovative treatments, the Bill team is committed to working with Oxford University who have agreed to develop a method of data collection and sharing which arise from the Bill.
Specially, following feedback from the consultation, we are committed to including an obligation on doctors that they must register innovative interventions in order to be protected by the Bill.
This obligation will be included as part of the statutory process during the Public Bill Committee Stage in the House of Commons.