The Indian government has announced that it will set up special infrastructure for the manufacture of medical devices. Domestic production meets only 30% of the country’s requirement; most devices manufactured currently in India are low-end ones.
- The Medical Device Daily reports that the Association of the Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED), lists India as the fourth largest market for medical devices in Asia and says it could be worth as much as $4.8 billion. AIMED says India is growing as a key market for medical and diagnostics devices and that the industry has seen growth of 15% to 20% per year over the last decade.
India relies on imports for almost 70% of its medical devices. This percentage shoots up to 87% if high-end devices like medical electronics, hospital equipment and surgical instruments are included.
A recent task force on promotion of domestic production of high-end medical devices and pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment has made many recommendations to ensure that processes, policies and procedures are in place to support and encourage investment in this sector to move up the value chain.
Some of the recommendations of the task force are:
- Setting up an independent body with representatives from other related government departments and industry to function as a single window to:
- create benchmarks
- to follow international best practices
- access international markets
- find new business partners abroad
- Setting up medical devices parks, and promoting start-ups right from incubation of technology to product development and market outreach
- Setting up manufacturing hubs and clusters in a public private partnership (PPP) mode under which the Indian government develops the infrastructure and the industry bears the recurring expenses
- Offering financial support which could involve low-cost funding subsidy to small and medium enterprises; and concessional tariffs for five to ten years
- Promoting incubation centers through appropriate incentives and cost sharing to address gaps in R & D capabilities
- Designating centers of excellence to support product development, validation and certification of the medical use of devices
- Setting up a skill development committee that will design curricula and provide vocational training to technicians to upgrade skills
- Setting up appropriate import duty structures to promote local manufacturing of quality medical devices and diagnostic equipment and separating regulatory pathways for clinical trials on medical devices