Lewes, DE -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/06/2014 -- Technological advances in the medical field, high expenditure on research and development and a robust economy provide the building blocks for the growth of the Israeli pharmaceutical market
During the 2008-2013 period, the Israeli pharmaceutical market increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) at 3.0%. It was worth $1.7 billion in 2008, and is projected to reach approximately $2.3 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 2.8% (AESGP, 2013).
The pharmaceutical sector is the largest and most established sector of the Israeli life science industry. It has a total of 76 companies, with 22% involved in drug discovery and 17% in drug delivery. Israel is one of the major markets in terms of healthcare and pharmaceuticals in the Middle East. It is also the location of the headquarters of Teva Pharmaceuticals, which is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of generic pharmaceuticals and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in the world.
R&D expenditure in the field of science and technology and medical technological advances are the distinguishing features of the Israeli pharmaceutical market. According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Israel has the highest number of registered medical device patents per capita in the world, which includes innovations such as ingestible cameras, portable cardiac ultrasound systems, implantable visual aids for the sight-impaired, and instant CT Scanners (USPTO, 2009). Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expenditure on R&D in science in 2008 was $8.77 billion, and increased to an estimated $9.12 billion in 2013 (OECD, 2014).
Israel also ranks among the world’s leading countries in terms of number of scientists, engineers and high-tech start-ups per capita, as well as in R&D spending per capita.
The medical device market was worth approximately $1.3 billion in 2013, and is expected to grow to approximately $1.8 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 5.0%. In terms of market share, the main segments in 2013 were cardiovascular with 12.9%, nephrology and urology devices with 12.1%, and vitro diagnostics with 10.6%. The medical care and diagnostic markets are expected to see strong growth in the future due to increasing awareness of chronic diseases.
Pharmaceutical players benefit from well-defined and detailed regulatory filling procedures, separate departments for assessing the quality and safety of pharmaceutical products, and ease of access
The main regulatory authority for pharmaceutical products is the Pharmaceutical Division, which works under the guidance of the Ministry of Health. The Pharmaceutical Division, along with Institute for Standardization and Control of Pharmaceuticals (ISCP), regulates all the pharmaceuticals, clinical trials and cosmetics in Israel.
Various departments such as the Medical Registration Department, the Drug Assessment Unit, and the current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) Inspectorate work under the guidelines of the Pharmaceutical Division and ISCP. Every new drug registered in Israel is manufactured with cGMP regulation, according to the relevant EU directives, and are quality-checked to ensure the safety of public health.
Any medical product is eligible to be registered in Israel if it has been manufactured, registered or marketed in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, or a member country of the European Union.
National Health Insurance Law, prescription drug price regulation, and affordable pharmaceuticals are distinguishing features of the Israeli reimbursement system
The National Health Insurance (NHI) Law 1995 guarantees medical insurance for every Israeli citizen through four Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO). The HMOs are mainly funded by a progressive, income-based health tax. The government distributes the NHI funds between the health plans to provide healthcare services to the Israeli citizens.
The maximum price of prescription drugs and the changes in the prices of non-prescription drugs are regulated by the Ministry of Health. The HMOs provide ‘baskets’ of healthcare services that include a list of the drugs and services subsidized. Each HMO has a slightly different subsidization plan, which must conform to the guidelines specified in the NHI Law, and be approved by the Ministry of Health. For most of the drugs included in the Health Packages, the patient’s contribution amounts to 10-15% of the maximum retail price (MoH, 2014b).
Strong financial regulations and an export-driven, open-market economy has led Israel to economic growth, but strained political relationships with the neighboring Arab countries and terrorism are omnipresent threats
The fundamentals of the Israeli economy are strong. Advances in agriculture and agro-technology, water irrigation systems, solar energy, and high-tech industries and startups, has positioned Israel among the most developed economies in the Middle East region. The Bank of Israel has taken necessary steps by reducing its benchmark interest - lending rates - from 0.75% to 0.50%, in order to curb the economic damage from the conflict with neighboring countries (Appleberg, 2014). However, terrorism, cross-border refugee movements, threat of war from neighboring countries, and Islamic radicals are all threats to ongoing economic growth. Despite these issues, the GDP per capita was $37,035 in 2013, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.2% during the 2014-2020 period (IMF, 2014a).
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