77 new drugs are added to 2012 health basket

Most of the new medications treat cancer, AIDS, endocrinological issues; MK Horowitz: Basket will ease lives, save money.

December 29, 2011 13:32
1 minute read.
Medicine [illustrative]

Medicine pills drugs prescription 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

Seventy-seven of 600 eligible new medications and medical technologies were added to the public health basket on Thursday. Most of the the 77 are for treatment of cancer, AIDS, and various endocrinological issues.

A member of the public committee responsible for updating the basket expanded on some of the new medications that will be available in 2012. "I want to point out a new treatment for melanoma that will be available in the basket," he said in a press conference Thursday.

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The new year's new basket will include three additional medications against HIV. The basket already included a number of new drugs for the treatment of AIDS, including Prezista, Atripla, Isentress, Baraclude, Viread, Incivo, and Victrelis. There was a 12 percent increase in new instances of the disease in 2011. The NIS 14 million that had been allocated to prevention of the disease as of 2009 had been cut dramatically to NIS 345,000.

The public committee for updating the basket began meeting in late October for preliminary discussions on of the 2012 basket. They worked with an annual budget of NIS 6.5 billion. Since 2005, the budget had been raised by NIS 350-450 million annually. The 2012 budget was raised by only NIS 300 million, making it impossible for the new basket to include most of the eligible drugs.

MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) said of the additions Thursday, "the new medications will ease and extend the lives of the patients and will result in considerable savings for the health system."

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