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State to expand subsidized medications, to total NIS 550 million

Health minister says ‘super advanced drugs and technologies’ to be added, including treatments for transgender individuals

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Director General Nachman Ash, hold a press conference in Tel Aviv, January 4, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Director General Nachman Ash, hold a press conference in Tel Aviv, January 4, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

The Health Ministry on Wednesday announced it would widen the so-called subsidized “drug basket” which helps Israelis pay for numerous drugs, life-saving emerging medicines, and health technologies.

A committee submitted its recommendations to Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, which included medications and technologies worth NIS 550 million ($175.5 million) for 2022.

“The committee members did an amazing job,” Horowitz said in a statement, adding that subsidized treatments included “super-advanced drugs and technologies in the fields of mental health, rehabilitation, funding innovative cancer treatments, treatments for transgender individuals, lowering the price of PrEP, adding another drug for HIV patients and assistance to a very wide range of people.”

According to Channel 12 news, the state-funded treatments for transgender people will also include voice therapy valued at NIS 2 million ($638 million).

The ministry’s director general, Nachman Ash, said he hoped that next year a larger budget would be allocated to the “drug basket” to address the needs of more patients.

“We have made every effort to ensure the citizens of the country receive the technologies that should be included in the basket as soon as possible,” said the coordinator of the committee, Dr. Osnat Luxenburg.

Israel’s annual health budget is around NIS 44 billion ($14 billion).

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