After last month’s announcement that the Israeli Ministry of Health approved the use of PrEP in Israel, a group of drugs Israel’s Ministry of Health approves new drugs that almost completely reduce the chances of contracting HIV, one of Israel’s four HMOs announced today (Monday) that it would subsidize the treatment for its policyholders.
As previously reported by JOL, last month the Israeli Ministry of Health recently decided to approve the use of PrEP, a group of drugs that significantly reduces the chance of contracting HIV, the AIDS-causing virus. Today, the Israel AIDS Task Force announced that one of Israel’s HMOs, Meuhedet, will begin subsidizing the preventative treatment’s cost and will sell Teva’s generic version of Gilead’s Truvada, Emtricitabine at subsidized prices to its members.
The cost of the Teva generic will be 300 NIS per month for supplementary insurance memrbers and 500 NIS for all other members. To date, patients in Israel have had to privately pay for the drug, costing anywhere between 1800 NIS to 2500 NIS.
According to Meuhedet, more than 400 new cases of HIV are diagnosed every year in Israel. In accordance with the Prescription Department of the Ministry of Health, family doctors will be able to prescribe PrEP after completing special training. Prescriptions will be given to Meuhedet members at the highest risk to contracting HIV.
The Israel AIDS Task Force, together with the Israeli Medical HIV/AIDS Association and the LGBT Medical Association, has already provided two training programs for dozens of doctors, and will soon have additional training sessions available.
Director-General of the Israeli AIDS Task Force Dr. Yuval Livnat welcomed the move: “This is good news for many and for public health in general. We hope that the other HMOs will continue in Meuhedet’s path. We will continue in our fight for this matter until the Ministry of Health will include the treatment in the health basket, thus making it available to everyone. This is for the good of preventing contraction in high-risk groups, alongside other methods of prevention, specifically condoms.”
Teva Pharmaceutical responded that their goal is to ensure that their generic PrEP drug is fairly and affordably priced, up to 12 NIS a day, which would grant thousands of Israelis access to the drug and significantly reduce the number of HIV infections in Israel.