EmpowerATM - Access to Medicine update

Dear Alan,

This week Empower has been referenced in two parliamentary debates regarding the drug development process.

On Monday the campaign was mentioned in a discussion in the House of Lords on experimental drugs. Baroness Gardner of Parkes asked the Government whether they will enable the use of new experimental drugs by terminally ill patients who are prepared to risk participating in clinical trials.

The Health Minister, Earl Howe, responded by stating that “the Government are committed to ensuring access to new and promising medicines for patients while ensuring that medicines continue to meet high standards of safety, efficacy and quality.”

To read the full discussion click here.

Yesterday George Freeman MP, the Government’s Life Sciences Adviser, led a debate in the House of Commons on the issue of genetic medicine and patients’ rights. I sincerely welcome his efforts in putting the rights of patients at the heart of this discussion. You can read his blog explaining why he initiated the debate here.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, a long standing supporter of the campaign, also spoke in the debate and said that “if we could change the protocol in the medical profession and harness our innovative bio-sciences sector, we could become a world leader in the development of new drugs.”

I was very grateful to both George Freeman and the Health Minister Anna Soubry for their support of the campaign and pushing forward the notion that patients with a terminal illness should have the “opportunity to take part in trials and research so that their disease and suffering will not be in vain.”

You can read the full transcript here or if you would like to watch the debate click here.

I also want to mention that June is MND Awareness Month which this year focuses on the film I am Breathing. The film movingly documents the last year of Neil Platt’s life and is being screened in selected cinemas on 21st June to coincide with MND Global Awareness Day. Please have a look at their website to find out more.

As you can see it’s been a great week for raising awareness of the campaign. Please continue to help by promoting our petition and joining the debate on Twitter #RightToTry

With best wishes

Les Halpin

Thank you Alan.

Keeping updated upon the progress of this important campaign.

Its nice to know how important my attendece at the House of Commons was to the raredisease community.

Thank You

Hi Alan,
I pray you gain great strength and health for rendering a noble service to the MND community. All rare diseases are cruel in its own way. Staying a pillar of support is a commendable service. Thanks.

Thanks for Alan!..., ;o)