Changes and trends in medication-assisted treatment in Israel

Isr J Health Policy Res. 2023 Jan 26;12(1):1. doi: 10.1186/s13584-022-00551-8.


Background: As opioid prescription in Israel is increasing, there is a growing need for monitoring opioid use disorder and providing opioid agonist therapy. Our goal is to describe, sub-analyze, and identify obstacles in the treatment of opioid misuse in the Israeli medication assisted treatment centers.

Methods: Data on methadone, buprenorphine, and buprenorphine combined with naloxone for the indication of opioid addiction treatment for the period 2013-2020 were obtained from pharmaceutical companies that distribute them in Israel. Data on utilization of these drugs were also extracted from the database maintained by the Israel Ministry of Health's Pharmaceutical Administration Division. The data were converted to defined daily doses (DDD)/1000 inhabitants/day.

Results: The number of patients receiving medication assisted treatment increased by 10% since 2013, with a shift from buprenorphine alone to buprenorphine/naloxone in government-run centers. Methadone remains the most popular maintenance drug.

Conclusions: The change in opioid maintenance prescription does not match the significant increase in opioid consumption. Optimization of treatment can be achieved by the creation of a comprehensive database, cooperation between healthcare organizations and the government and further development of non-stigmatic and accessible services.

Keywords: Medication assisted treatment; Opioid agonist therapy; Opioid maintenance treatment; Opioid use disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Buprenorphine* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Naloxone / therapeutic use
  • Opioid-Related Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Naloxone
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations