Clinical Trials in Israel

Overview
Israel is a small country with a vast and flourishing scientific community. Israel has the largest per capita number of scientists and physicians in the world with researchers who are renowned for their cutting-edge results and inventions. The Israeli start-up industry is one of the largest worldwide.

Health system infrastructure
Israel has 5 medical schools, about 30 medical centers, and thousands of primary care units, employing more than 20,000 physicians. Most primary care clinics belong to or work with public health insurance providers, which also own some of the major medical centers. Israeli physicians are typically involved in research and many have gone through fellowship programs abroad. Clinical education programs and GCP certification are mandatory for staff at the vast majority of medical centers. Clinical trials are many times conducted through designated clinical trial units, manned by senior attending physicians, nurses and study coordinators.

Current financial and political aspects

2012 was lately proclaimed the most profitable year ever by the MoH contracts committee, which reports investments of up to 370m NIS in clinical trials, led by Quintiles and Novartis (see charts below). The newly chosen government has appointed a Health Minister – Yael German, an experienced mayor and a newcomer to the national political arena.  Concurrently, an updated MoH set of procedures for clinical trials in human beings is at its final stages of phrasing and a draft will soon be released for comments by the industry and other stake holders.