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October 2023
Dror Dicker MD, Orly Tamir PhD MSc MHA, Gabriella Lieberman-Segal MD, Roy Eldor MD PhD, Moran Accos-Carmel RD MAN, Tatyana Kolobov PhD, Avraham Karasik MD

Background: In 2019, 1 mg subcutaneous semaglutide was registered for the treatment of diabetes in Israel. Recognition of its effect on weight has led to its use as a treatment for obesity.

Objectives: To explore physicians’ pre-therapy considerations, therapy practices, and attitudes regarding subcutaneous semaglutide for weight loss.

Methods: A 22-item questionnaire was disseminated to physicians who prescribed semaglutide 1-mg for weight loss using an authorized off-label path.

Results: In total, 127 physicians completed the questionnaire. As for pretreatment requirements, in the absence of diabetes, 30% requested a minimal body mass index of 30 kg/m2. Additional requirements were documented lifestyle-change effort (67%) and prior weight loss medication use (13%). Half of the physicians regarded calorie restriction, and 23% considered physical activity as necessary for weight loss while on therapy. As for dose, most physicians (78%) started with a 0.25-mg weekly injection, 57% doubled the dose monthly, and all others recommended doubling when side effects subsided. Regarding weight loss goal, 43% of the physicians set a personal goal with each patient while 26% limited the goal to 10% of initial weight. Fewer than 50% of physicians discussed treatment duration with their patients, and 52% of patients discontinued therapy in the first 3 months. The main reasons for discontinuation were price, lack of effect, and fear of long-term side effects.

Conclusions: The diverse approaches regarding off-label use of semaglutide for weight reduction highlight the necessity to guide physicians and standardize treatment regimen.

December 2009
A. Nahmias, O. Tamir, I. Raz and J. Wainstein
December 2008
Click here for article written by Orly Tamir, MHA, MSc, Joshua Shemer, MD, Mordechai Shani, MD, Sharona Vaknin, MSc and Miriam Ines Siebzehner, PhD, MPA, RN. IMAJ 2008: 12: December: 901-905
The Israeli Center for Technology Assessment in Health Care (ICTAHC) was established in 1998 at the Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research, on foundations set in 1992 by the Medical Technology Assessment Unit. The Center is defined as an independent multidisciplinary research center, whose main aims are to assist in developing processes for the adoption of new technologies, identify and propose health priorities, and serve as an educational center for all stakeholders. Moreover, the Center promotes working relations with overseas counterparts as an essential component for expansion and advancement of the field of health technology assessment. Throughout the years, ICTAHC had contributed significantly to the development of the discipline of health technology assessment in Israel and to actual decision making in the health care system. The Center had outlined the principles, guidelines and overall framework for technology assessment in the country, as well as substantiating the discipline through various research areas, which materialized into a variety of technology-related policy accomplishments. Today, the Center serves as a national focal point in the health care system in Israel, as well as maintaining an active position in the international milieu. It has been a decade since the establishment of ICTAHC. This paper reviews the evolution of the center, describes changes in the HTA[1] field in Israel, identifies areas of focus and main research accomplishments, and illustrates the breadth of potential research scope and projections for the future.





[1] HTA = health technology assessment

September 2006
O. Tamir, M. Rabinovich and M. Shani

In Israel, updating of the National List of Health Services is performed on a yearly basis in a systematic and structured mechanism for almost a decade. The existence of such a mechanism is vital for keeping medicine up to date, since many innovative and breakthrough medical technologies continuously and frequently evolve. The 2006 update is unique in several aspects, relating both to the mechanism and to the decision-making process. In this article we describe notable issues that arose during the current process: modifications to the update mechanism, the four-phase increase in allocated resources to fund the addition of new medical technologies (including the addition of finances at the expense of the 2007 planned budget), and public funding for high-cost therapies. Finally, we discuss the impact of medical advances on healthcare costs and a suggested constant annual addition to the budget.

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