Manufacturers and importers of about 600 new drugs and other medical
technologies with a total cost of NIS 2 billion have applied for inclusion in
the 2013 basket of health services – but the selection committee can recommend
only NIS 300 million worth.
The public committee headed by Shaare Zedek
Medical Center director-general Prof. Jonathan Halevy held its first meeting
Thursday in Tel Aviv and must set priorities and make recommendations by the end
of this year, after holding intensive deliberations.
Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman promised that the decisions would not be influenced
by the Knesset elections, which will be held in January, and that he will not
intervene in the committee’s decisions.
The basket is a collection of
medications, devices and other technologies that the health funds subsidize for
patients at the expense of the Treasury. The choices can have life-and-death
consequences for patients and determine whether their quality of life is
improved or not.
Health Ministry director-general Prof. Ronni
Gamzu said he was happy that a three-year agreement allowed the addition of NIS
300m. to the basket each year since 2011. A new agreement will have to reached
by the Treasury and the ministry next year.
Gamzu praised Halevy for his
agreeing to serve voluntarily at the head of the public committee, noting that
he had in the past headed national projects such as Israel Transplant. The
Shaare Zedek director- general voiced his thanks for the appointment and said
the citizenry should be proud of the health basket, which is better than that of
The majority of the other committee members are also
The various companies that applied to be in the basket have already
begun to try to influence the committee members, by pressing health reporters to
write about the products that are candidates for inclusion.
committee said it is not influenced by any publicity on medical technologies.