Israel to Include Cancer, AIDS Medication in 2012 Health Basket

Israel committee on subsidized healthcare to include new, more expensive treatments intended for a smaller group of patients.

Israel’s committee on subsidized healthcare announced its decision Thursday to include 77 new medications and cutting-edge medical treatments into next year’s subsidized health basket.

The decision came after 600 requests were placed for new medicines, with a cost of over NIS 2 billion. According to a senior official in Israel’s public health system, the committee decided that as opposed to previous years, next year’s basket will include more expensive medicines intended for a smaller group of patients.

pill, medicine, tablet -  Bloomberg - sourced 25.12.11

The most expensive medicines included in next year’s basket are Yervoy and Zelboraf, two medicines used to fight skin cancer, constituting a medical breakthrough that may lengthen the average life of a patient by up to six months. The treatment is intended for 162 Israeli melanoma patients per year and costs between NIS 262.1 thousand and NIS 369.7 thousand per patient.

Three separate treatments that help fight AIDS are also to be included in next year’s basket.

However, next year's basket will leave out Nuchal scans for pregnant women, as well as amniotic fluid tests for women over 35. The antidepressant Cipralex was also left out of the list, as the committee decided that it was not as effective as other similar psychiatric treatments.

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