90 new drugs to be added to 2008 basket of health services

90 new drugs and medical technologies will be added to the basket of health services in 2008 at a a cost of NIS 450 million, according to a list compiled by a Health Ministry committee. The new basket will enable 160,000 patients to receive their medication free of charge. Among the ailments addressed this year were diabetes, cancer, aids, psoriasis, osteoporosis, breathing difficulties, depression, schizophrenia, heart disease and Parkinson's disease. Pain killers also constituted a major part of the new additions, at NIS 50 million. The committee had to choose from 500 entries at a total cost of NIS 2 billion. The list still needed that approval of the ministry and the cabinet, and the new medicine was expected to be available by mid-March.