Legislation to encourage medical innovation in healthcare

27 May 2014

Proposed UK legislation aims to clarify when medical innovation is responsible in order to reduce the risk of clinical negligence claims. In its response, the PHG Foundation argues the Bill should not be enacted in its current form.

Genomics has enabled a more detailed approach to diagnostics and the development and delivery of new and innovative treatments that are more precisely tailored to individual patients, and treatments are becoming increasingly personalised. 

The PHG Foundation is broadly supportive of approaches that encourage medical innovation that lower or remove barriers to innovative care (diagnosis and treatment) that provide benefit to patients. We strongly support the view that doctors should be able to innovate in the best interests of their patients. We believe that approaches to innovative care should be evidence-based, proportionate, and effective. As such, on the strength of the proposals set out in the consultation and associated documents, we do not support the current Bill, but do support efforts to improve access to innovative, effective, and safe care for patients and also recognise the difficulties inherent in attempting to provide such access.

If the draft Bill does become law, we recommend that additional systems are put in place to a) help ensure that the benefits of innovative medical care are realised for patients generally and b) mitigate the possibility of negative and unintended effects of the Bill.

Read the full response here

Department of Health