The MPs response to the Off Patent Drugs Bill

This the response by my MP

“Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the Off-Patent Drugs Bill [and the related ‘unlock drugs’ campaign by Breast Cancer Now].

I appreciate the frustration and concern that many people feel about the delays that can occur in accessing new and potentially effective drugs and treatments. I also appreciate that through their ‘Unlock Drugs’ and previously ‘Unlock Lifesaving Drugs’ campaigns, Breast Cancer Now continue to raise the issue of how many low cost and potentially effective drugs are being prevented from being made routinely available due to a lack of licensing.

As you know the Private Members’ Bill – the Off-Patent Drugs Bill – introduced by my colleague Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, would require the UK Government to seek licences for such off-patent drugs and therefore improve access to low-cost treatments for a range of conditions, including breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

I am aware that there was a previous Private Members’ Bill in 2014 which unfortunately the coalition Government did not support when it was debated on 7th November 2014 and, as a result, it did not progress further.

Improving timely access to medicines that can benefit patients is something that we all want to see. The Off-Patent Drugs Bill has yet to be published and I will look at the detail of the legislation. However, I support the principles of the Off-Patent Drugs Bill.

With specific regard to cancer treatment, I also believe we need to ensure that people have access to a wide range of treatments including drugs, radiotherapy and surgery, and that patients get tested quickly if cancer is suspected. At the 2015 General Election I stood on a manifesto which included commitments to improve early cancer diagnosis, speed up waiting times for cancer test results and create a new Cancer Treatments Fund so that patients have access to the latest drugs, surgery and radiotherapy.

The Off-Patent Drugs Bill is due to have its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 6th November 2015. Please be assured I will monitor its progress with interest.

Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views”.

So this seems the usual blah, blah, blah, stock response, blah blah, blah, cut and paste, blah, blah, blah, I’ll tell you what you already know, blah, blah, blah I am not really reading your letter as my answers aren’t quite right and I am not really answering your letter, blah, blah, blah, I won’t get off my bum, blah, blah, blah, nothing.

Maybe you can post and I can up load what are countries leaders can do.

Maybe we can give the Scottish National Party MPs something to do? There are over forty of them so they can get to the second reading and it would benefit Scotland…as it is MS Central.
Maybe in the words of Fraser maybe “Were Doomed” as we all can watch a ship sink.
Private Members Bills often don’t succeed 

About the author



  • My MP replied:
    Thank you for your recent email about the Off-Patent Drugs Bill. I understand your concerns and agree that it is important to ensure that patients have access to the latest and best drugs as part of their care and treatment.

    I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that off-label drugs can already be prescribed where there is robust evidence to support their use.

    I am informed that in February, officials held an event for interested parties called “Translating evidence into practice” which was prompted by a previous Bill on this topic. Attendees discussed what action, short of legislation, could be taken to ensure that robust evidence about new uses for existing drugs is produced, disseminated and then used to inform clinical decision making about these medicines.

    You may be interested to learn that the Government has recently established the Accelerated Access Review which aims to develop ways to speed up access to innovative drugs, devices and diagnostics for NHS patients in a cost-effective way.

    Please feel free to feed in your comments on the various lines of enquiry via

    Thank you again for taking the trouble to contact me and if I can assist you on this or any other matter in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch again.

    • I got a similar letter, some bits exactly word for word. If they are saying the drugs are available without legislation, why does George Osborne need to legislate to stop him putting taxes up? There really think we're a bunch of idiots.

  • I got the same reply as RLS 4ever apart from a little added personalisation. Maybe we have the same MP, mine is in Suffolk, but when I googled a bit of the text, I came up with this: Amber Rudd is not my MP so it looks like a pre-prepared stock response from CCHQ. If you've written to a Tory MP, expect something similar.

By MouseDoctor



Recent Posts

Recent Comments