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Israel acts on drug imports to cut healthcare bills

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 10 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1562
  1. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
  1. Jerusalem

    Israel is to open up its drugs industry to free market competition in order to drive down medical costs. Despite massive opposition by US pharmaceutical companies and government officials—including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright—Israel has agreed to allow the import of many prescription only and over the counter drugs from September. Experts in Israel's health ministry and the country's largest public health insurer, Clalit Health Services (CHS), predict that the opening of drug imports to competition will save the public health insurers and hospitals tens of millions of dollars a year.

    Until now, Israel has been one of the few places in the world to honour exclusivity contracts between drug …

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