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Starting at the beginning of July, 10 additional drugs will be included in the basket of health services and provided by the health funds to relevant members, after formal approval was given by the cabinet on Sunday.
The priorities for the drugs, which include growth hormone for very short children, Plavix for coronary insufficiency, Zomera for metastatic prostate cancer, Velcade for multiple myeloma, and Herceptin for prevention of recurrence of breast cancer in women who have already had it.
However, these 625 breast cancer patients are still waiting for the Health Ministry to officially approve the use of Herceptin for this indication; it has been approved already in Europe.
The spokesperson for the Israel Cancer Association, Nava Inbar, welcomed the addition of the new drugs to the health basket.
The Health Ministry's "basket committee" - which had set these priorities last March but which received only NIS 310 million in funding and could not include the 10 in the basket - will meet soon to set priorities for another NIS 425 million, which was approved recently. However, the government has said that it would not expand the basket in 2007 because next year's budget is being spent now.