Cost of prescription drugs in Israel to drop by 7.47% on average

The cost of over-the-counter drugs will not change.

A pharmacy worker during the COVID-19 outbreak (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A pharmacy worker during the COVID-19 outbreak
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The maximum prices of some 1,500 patented prescription medications will fall by an average of 7.5% on January 1, 2023, compared to their cost in 2022.

The news of the price drop was announced on Tuesday evening by Health Ministry Deputy-Director of Planning, Budgeting and Pricing Haim Huppert, who said the cost of over-the-counter (non-prescription) drugs will not change.

The mechanism by which the price is determined is according to the average retail prices of the preparations and medicines in Belgium, Hungary, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. The price of the medicine is determined according to the three lowest prices among those countries and the changes in the exchange rates of the shekel against their foreign currencies.

The price control is on the maximum price for the sale of the drugs. The consumers’ deductible to the health funds is also derived from it, the ministry said.

The calculation of the control prices for over-the-counter drugs is carried out in accordance with the Control Order on the Prices of Commodities and Services Law of 2001. Due to the greater competitiveness in the over-the-counter drug market, the price of these drugs is determined once and doesn’t change every year, unless an initiative request is launched to decrease the price.

Colorful of tablets and capsules pill in blister packaging arranged with beautiful pattern with flare light. Pharmaceutical industry concept. Pharmacy drugstore. Antibiotic drug resistance (credit: INGIMAGE)Colorful of tablets and capsules pill in blister packaging arranged with beautiful pattern with flare light. Pharmaceutical industry concept. Pharmacy drugstore. Antibiotic drug resistance (credit: INGIMAGE)

“The drug market in Israel is dynamic, high quality and diverse, as many innovative drugs have entered Israel in recent years,” said Huppert.

“Since medicines are a basic and essential product, their prices are supervised by the ministry. Since the new quotation mechanism came into effect in 2018, the prices of controlled prescription drugs have dropped by about 25%. This is being carried out while balancing the price and the ministry’s commitment to maintaining the dynamism and innovation in this market. The current drop in prices is expected to also lead to a decrease in the co-payments paid for medications by the public.”

"This is being carried out while balancing the price and the ministry’s commitment to maintaining the dynamism and innovation in this market. The current drop in prices is expected to also lead to a decrease in the co-payments paid for medications by the public.”   

Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash explained, “The supervision of drug prices is an important tool in curbing the rise in their cost. This is the way to make a wide range of medicines accessible to the entire population, introduce more medicines into the state’s healthcare basket and lower the co-payments derived from the list price. We are working to continue the trend of reducing co-payments in other services as well.”