Former health minister Yael German.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Health Ministry will devote NIS 100 million, roughly a third of the NIS 324m. budget for additions to the 2015 health basket, to medications for treating viral hepatitis.
Next year’s health basket additions, announced Tuesday, were only allocated NIS 300m., and will dip into the 2016 budget to cover the remaining NIS 24m., unless the government updates its spending when it passes the 2015 state budget after the election.
The focus on hepatitis C prevention aroused controversy, especially since so much of the medication will go toward prevention and not treatment for patients who had undergone liver transplants and fell ill again. Those patients will have to pay three times as much for the drug.
The committee also added 13 cancer drugs, including Opdivo and Keytruda, and 14 diabetes drugs, vaccinations and infectious disease treatments.
It will also fully fund non-medically-motivated approved abortions, and HPV treatments for gay men.
This year, the basket will not include a Parkinson’s disease drug called Duodopa, dental care for children aged 12-14, ADHD remedy Adderall, and a drug for patients with short bowel syndrome called Neotex.