science lab 248.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy )
Researchers working for the government, including state hospitals, will receive
35 percent of the royalties paid for intellectual property – including new
medications and technologies – that they developed in their workplaces. This is
the result of an agreement, four years in the making, that was just signed by
the Health and Finance Ministries.
Because doctors and researchers who
are government employees have not gained financially until now – unlike those at
the Hadassah Medical Organization and other institutions where personnel receive
between 50% and 60% of royalties – there has been little incentive for them to
devote part of their time to research.
The accountant-general in the
Treasury, Shuki Oren, said it was the first time there are clear arrangements
for intellectual property in state institutions, especially in
The agreement “expresses the balance between protecting state
assets and encouraging applied research while taking advantage of the potential
in intellectual property to the advantage of the health system and the entire
economy,” Oren said.
Health Ministry director-general Dr. Ronni Gamzu
said the agreement formalizes the rights of those who do research and increases
the possibility of funding through the ministry chief scientist’s office. “The
ministry will continue its efforts to strengthen basic and applied medical
research,” he said.
According to the agreement, 55% of the royalties will
go to the hospitals and their research corporations, with the remaining 10%
shared by the Health Ministry and the Treasury. The accord also sets down rules
on reporting of royalties, and any state worker who does not inform his employer
that he has earned money from discoveries carried out in state facilities will
be punished with sanctions.
However, the Israel Medical Association,
which represents most of the country’s physicians, was unhappy with the
agreement. While its representatives participated in the earlier negotiations,
it was not included in the final ones, said IMA spokeswoman Ronit Schwartz Ben
David. The IMA demands that doctors get 50% to 60% of royalties, and not only
35%, she said.
“We have several other objections to the agreement as
well. The agreement has been signed, but it can be cancelled and
Schwartz Ben David maintained that no physician or
doctors’ organization representative signed the agreement.
The IMA wasn’t
even aware of the agreement, she said, and heard about it only from the media.
She added that making such an agreement and not having an official
representative sign the agreement actually violates the Patent Law.