Legislation committee defeats proposal for zero VAT on prescription drugs

Proposal aims to make prescription drugs equally accessible to whole population, as zero VAT will make it easier for patients to pay for them.

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November 1, 2015 16:47
1 minute read.
Pills

Pills. (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)

 
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The Ministerial Committee for Legislation rejected on Sunday a proposed bill by Meretz MK Ilan Gilon that would eliminate value-added tax on medications.

“This is a badge of shame for a Likud government of monopolies and social gaps and its coalition partners,” he said.

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The proposal will have its last chance when the Knesset plenum discusses it a preliminary reading.

Gilon, chairman of the Knesset’s Health Lobby, said “consumption of medications directly affects the longevity and quality of life of patients. The aim of the proposal is to make prescription drugs equally accessible to the whole population, as zero VAT will make it easier for patients to pay for them. It would lower private expenditure on drugs for all.”

Many enlightened countries, he said, already have no VAT on medications.

The MK attacked the government decision to reject the proposal, saying the elderly and the sick don’t have the privilege of choosing to pay copayments or full prices on drugs.

“While [Economy Minister] Arye Deri and [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu are busy trying to save the scandalous natural gas deal and an embarrassing shift of responsibility, the transparent remain transparent, the poor become sick and the cycle of poverty continues.”

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