India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after declaring their plan to increase coal and gas production in the country, also said that their government now aims to increase medical devices manufacturing to boost the flagship scheme of ‘Make in India’. Government is planning to lead medical devices manufacturing market to $50 billion by 2025 from a current market size of nearly $11 billion.
Minister of MSME, Nitin Gadkar also said that his department has already planned to set up five parks to manufacture low-cost medical devices in the country. He also added a project that is being carried out under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), to manufacture ‘Cochlear implant’ equipment.
750–800 domestic medical device manufacturers units are working in India, that form around 65% of such manufacturers and with the current move, the government aims to bring more FDI in India. However, the decision still has roadblocks ahead.
Medical devices such as syringes and others that do not need electronic equipment are increasingly made in India but those requiring electronic equipment are preferably being imported. Along with the low scale of production that is making the Indian medical device industry less competitive, there are other major hurdles lying ahead as well. “The government’s move will help only if it reaches the ground level. For instance, officials from the regulatory body are still seen as a threat and not as somebody who can help. So, the government will have to ensure trust and assure that the traders no more see the regulators as a threat,” Nikhilesh Tiwari, Founder, ColMed, told Financial Express Online. The government (including and especially state governments) and regulators should also take up the role of nurturing this industry and we should look forward to creating global leaders in this industry, he added.
In the last financial year, medical devices registered under the category “ Optical, photographic, cinematographic measuring, checking precision, medical or surgical instruments and apparatus parts and accessories thereof” saw around 20 per cent rise in growth, according to the Department of Commerce.
Meanwhile, to give a fillip to the medical device sector, Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, last month announced setting up of a National Medical Devices Promotion Council under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). With this move, the government aimed to identify redundant processes and provide technical assistance to the concerned bodies to simplify the approval processes involved in medical device industry promotion and development.