India Now - page 38

across the globe, according to a 2013 report of the India
Electronics & Semiconductor Association. However, India
at present imports 70 per cent of medical devices to meet
its demand. In order to provide an impetus to the domestic
industry and reduce import dependence, the Government
of India has rolled out several initiatives. Among them,
100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) was permitted
under the automatic route in the medical devices sector.
Although the Indian medical devices industry forms a very
small part of the total manufacturing industry (only 0.2
per cent of all certified facilities),
support in the form of fiscal benefits,
technological advancements and
policy changes is bound to create a
strong opportunity for India to build a
globally competitive healthcare sector.
“Bringing affordable healthcare
to the masses has driven medical
equipment manufacturers to devise
India-centric medical devices such as
portable ECG equipment, portable
CT scanners, etc. The medical devices
market has a huge potential in India
and with government programmes
Make in India
Digital India
providing the impetus, there is a
strong opportunity for manufacturing
them locally, both to fulfill local
demand as well as encash export
opportunities,” said Vidyashankar,
adding, “Healthcare is the sector
which holds a lot of promise. The
electronics content in medical devices
is more than 50 per cent and will
throw up opportunities in plenty.”
As per the KPMG-FICCI report,
India is placed among the top three
medical tourism destinations in Asia,
due to the low cost of treatment,
quality healthcare infrastructure and
availability of highly skilled doctors.
With the new government easing the
visa facility to SAARC patients, the
boom in the healthcare sector will
further lead to a spurt in demand for the medical devices
sector, say experts.
The Indian medical device sector has been witnessing
strong FDI inflows for over one decade, which reflects the
confidence of global players in the country’s market. Citing
government data, a 2014 report by Nishith Desai Associates
said that the medical and surgical equipment sector received
an average of
220.2 crore per year between 2000 and 2011.
The FDI inflow increased in 2012 to
383.5 crore and contin-
ued the upward momentum in 2013 reaching
919.8 crore.
As per the report, in the first five months of 2014, the sector
registered 64.66 per cent of FDI inflows received in the 2013.
Government as Facilitator
The Union Health Ministry, in January this year, released
the draft of the Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Bill,
2015 to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, in order
to upgrade the Act and introduce provisions for clinical
trials and regulation of medical devices. The Bill proposes
to expand the scope of the Act and
specifically define medical devices
to cover new areas and “regulate the
import, manufacture, distribution
and sale of medical devices”. The Bill
proposes: “The central government
shall, by notification, constitute a
board to be called the Medical Devices
Technical Advisory Board to advise
the central government and state
governments on technical matters
pertaining to medical devices, arising
out of administration of this Act and
to carry out other functions assigned
to it by or under this Act”. The Bill also
calls for inserting a separate Chapter
on import, manufacture, sale and
distribution of notified categories of
medical devices.
The Centre is, reportedly, planning
to set up testing laboratories across the
country to facilitate testing of medical
devices and smoothen the process of
certification and, in turn, boost export
prospects for Indian players. Ahmed-
abad, which is one of the medical
devices and pharma machinery manu-
facturing hubs in the country, is likely
to get a testing laboratory soon. Such
laboratories can come up at multiple
locations to help the local industry.
In another significant move to
catalyse the growth momentum
of the sector, the Department of
Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) proposes to constitute
a separate development advisory council for the medical
devices industry. The Council, with representations from the
government and stakeholders, would facilitate a platform for
the industry to address its challenges and issues.
With forward looking policies and new and emerging mar-
ket opportunities, the Indian medical devices sector is poised
to take a winning leap.
(Based on interviews and secondary research)
“The position of the
medical devices
segment will be
very strong over the
decade...the Indian
healthcare industry
has a high innovation
potential and is
widely recognised”
M N Vidyashankar
President, IESA
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