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Israel's healthcare funds (kupot holim) and Sarel, which handles drugs-procurement for the funds, will have to change the way they do business with foreign suppliers, under amendments to the Tenders Law.

From now on, every time they close a deal to buy drugs or devices from a foreign supplier, they must require the foreign supplier to buy goods or services from Israeli companies. That requirement will apply to 35% of the contract price.

However, the requirement only kicks in regarding tenders worth more than $5 million.

For instance, if a kupat holim orders $5 million worth of drugs or devices from a foreign supplier, the supplier will have to order at least $1,750000 worth of goods or services from Israeli companies.

Previously the threshold for mutuality in contracts had been half a million dollars.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade claims that only 2% of the mutual-procurement deals closed in the last few years were for less than $5 million.