Access to Medicines
Channels In Israel providing the public with access to medicines
Thousands of clinical trials are conducted in Israel each year in all of the health institutions at an overall investment exceeding ILS 1 billion.
Most of the clinical trials are conducted by multinational pharmaceutical companies. These extensive clinical research activities position Israel at the forefront of medical innovation worldwide.
Clinical trials are a critically important stage in the development of new medical technologies. During this stage, the efficacy, safety and quality of the drug is tested on human subjects. Clinical trials are conducted by expert physicians at medical institutions and are subject to the approval, control and oversight processes of ethics committees (Helsinki committees) of the hospitals and the Ministry of Health.
Clinical trials provide the foundation for the development and registration of innovative drugs and are comprised of several phases:
Phase 1 – testing of the dosage and safety of the drug on human subjects. For the most part, during phase 1, the dosage and safety of the drug will be tested on a few dozen healthy volunteers to verify that the drug has no adverse effects, to ascertain possible side effects and to determine the correct dosages for treatment.
Phase 2 – this phase is intended for participants who have the disease that the drug is designed to treat. During phase 2, the efficacy and safety of the drug will be tested on a few dozens up to hundreds of relevant patients over a period of several months. The efficacy of the drug is tested by administering either the investigative drug or a placebo to the patients. Information on side effects is also obtained during this phase.
Phase 3 – testing the efficacy and safety of the drug on a larger and more varied population over a long period. Hundreds up to thousands of patients for whom the drug is intended participate in phase 3. For the most part, phase 3 is conducted in several countries at many medical centers and with different populations. The purpose of this phase is to test the efficacy of the drug in patients compared to the current standard treatment. This phase continues for several years.
Phase 4 – conducting research on the drug after it has been registered and approved for marketing. During this phase, the investigators monitor side effects and continue to examine the drug’s efficacy and safety under routine use. The feasibility of expanding the use of the drug to additional populations is also analyzed.
The clinical trials underway in Israel offer advantages to all those taking part in them – patients, physicians and hospitals.
Patients gain exposure to innovative treatments at their early stages (including essential medicines that are not yet available to the general public), they receive medicines free of charge and receive innovative medical treatment from the top experts.
Physicians are able to participate in breakthrough international research studies, to try out technologies at the vanguard of innovation and to improve their professional skills.
Hospitals are able to receive research budgets, staff positions and advanced medical equipment, to increase their revenues and to enhance their image.
The Israeli economy receives a significant financial contribution.