Israel’s pharmaceutical industry plays a significant role in helping to improve the health of Americans. Israel’s growing and vibrant pharmaceutical sector is supported by a strong foundation of academic excellence, a highly skilled work force, renowned research and development centers, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
Despite a population of 8 million people, in 2011 and 2012 Israel was the fourth largest supplier of pharmaceutical products to the United States, ahead of Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and China. In 2011, Israeli pharmaceutical exports to the U.S. reached $5.6 billion and dropped slightly to $5.4 billion in 2012. In both years, pharmaceutical products accounted for roughly 24% of Israeli exports to the U.S.
Over the last 15 years Israeli pharmaceutical companies have played a growing role in the U.S. health care sector and Israeli Pharmaceutical exports to the United States have grown nearly 2,480% between 1997 ($208 million) and 2012 ($5.4 billion). The dramatic growth of Israeli pharmaceutical exports to U.S. is partially due to the 1984 “Hatch-Waxman Act,” which made it easier for generic drugs to enter the market, and the growth of companies such as Teva Pharmaceuticals, which the world’s largest generic drug maker, Dexcel Pharma, and Taro Pharmaceutical Industries.
According to the Israel Advanced Technologies Industries Association, which is Israel’s largest umbrella organization representing the high tech and life science industries, the majority of Israel’s 85 pharmaceutical companies are small and medium enterprises. Of these 85 companies, 25% are involved in drug discovery, 19% are involved in the development of “New Chemical Entities,” and 18% are involved in drug delivery.
According to the Israel Advanced Technologies Industries Association, the main field of focus for Israeli pharmaceutical companies is cardiovascular, which accounts for nearly 27% of the companies. The cardiovascular field is followed by the dermatology and aesthetics (about 20%), and endocrinology (nearly 17%).