New Delhi: In a recent union cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, the following schemes have been approved for promotion of domestic manufacturing of medical devices in the country:
1) The scheme on promotion of Medical Device Parks for financing common infrastructure facilities in four Medical Device Parks with financial implications of Rs 400 crore.
2) The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for promoting domestic manufacturing of medical devices with financial implications of Rs 3,420 crore.
Applauding the Government and thanking the Prime Minister during a video conference Mr Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, AIMED on behalf of the Indian Medical Device Industry said “We congratulate the Government wholeheartedly for approving the much-needed schemes for the promotion of the Domestic Manufacturing of Medical Devices in-country and thanked the Prime Minister for recognition of the need to have self-sufficiency in India in Medical Devices.
Mr Nath appraised the Prime Minister of the steps being taken by DoP & NPPA & DoCA in addressing the accessibility to raw material issues which were holding back manufacturers from fully utilizing their production capacities as well as the need for local administration at various states to recognize the need for medical devices to be treated as an essential product and no steps to be taken to hamper movement of men and materials to produce or sell them but instead to facilitate the import of raw materials and components by cargo airfreight if passenger flights were restricted as well as by continuing courier services.
“We are more than hopeful that these schemes announced would help boost local manufacturing and will accelerate medical devices manufacturing as a ‘Make in India’ enabler, make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for common masses, enable placing India among the top five medical devices manufacturing hubs worldwide and help end the 80-90 percent import dependence forced upon us and an ever-increasing import bill of over Rs 38,837 crore,” he opined.
Such a visionary move by the government will help address Indian National Healthcare security concerns – the inadequacy of which is being exposed in ongoing crisis to address the Coronavirus pandemic preparedness but the domestic industry was rising to the challenge to meet the health care needs of the country – whether, masks, gloves, sanitizers, injection syringes or ventilators and oxygen lines.
Mr Nath stated – We further await policy announcement on the below vital issues of Indian Medical Devices Industry:
Govt. must ensure consumers are not hurt by shortages by monitoring of prices at import or at ex factory level and of the MRP and proactive steps taken to regulate prices but not overly so that it leads to further shortages and become non-remunerative for manufacturers and traders.
Need to Regulate all Medical Devices under a Patients’ Safety Medical Devices Law separate from Drugs to protect patients and aid responsible manufacturing.
Restriction on Import of Pre-owned Medical Equipment
While we thank the Govt of deploying 5% Cess on some imported devices to encourage employment and Make in India of Medical Devices , to address 70-90% import dependency we seek a predictive nominal tariff protection policy as done for mobile phones to ensure a vibrant domestic industry & competitiveness and price stability driven by competing domestic players
Need to incentivize Quality in Healthcare Products in public healthcare procurements by preferential pricing for Q1 e.g. ICMED (QCI’s Indian Certification for Medical Devices) instead of L1 (lowest price) to ensure patients access acceptable quality.