Back in January 2010, an agreement was reached in Washington in talks headed by Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Director General Sharon Kedmi, under which Israel agreed to amend the Patent Law to make it more difficult for Israel’s pharmaceutical industry to launch generic equivalents of patented drugs. Instead of one country needing to have approved the patented drug for 9 years, now two countries, the US and a major European market, will have to have approved the drug, giving the drug developer more opportunity to capitalize on the investment made. The bait offered to Israel to make the required amendments, was that Israel would be taken off the Special 301 List of IP offenders, and be regulated to the Watch list. For more details, see here.
As Israel did not make the required amendment, the country was returned to the blacklist of IP offenders in 2011. For more details, see here.
The proposed amendment, Amendment 13 to the Patent Law, may be found here. It is due to be debated by the Knesset this week.
The US pressure is the result of lobbying by US drug industries, and has little to do with Israel breaking international copyright and patent treaties. The main ramifications of this amendment is that drugs will become more expensive and Teva may have to make further cutbacks.