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Need for independent Ministries for Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices towards focused policy interventions
Mar 12, 2021

Healthcare and disease are no longer exclusively managed by healthcare practitioners and health-workers. All across the world, patients are becoming empowered by wearables and devices to take control of their own health and well-being.  Speaking at the session on Innovative Technologies and Accessible Healthcare – Achieving the Right Balance Dr Manish Dewan Head - Strategy & Partnerships Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) highlighted that India is now poised with an ecosystem where people from the outside are looking at us for insights in innovation. There are still 65% of the population who lack the resources for high tech, high precision health technology, where healthcare delivery at the last mile remains a challenge. However, given the mandate of the Governments’ Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, we are moving towards an ecosystem of maturity. 

The vision for a self-reliant India in Medical Technology canbe achieved when Indian MedTech industry can make competitive products in India and when people of India canbe treated in the country without having to travel abroad and spend precious foreign exchange. Speaking at the session on Charting the Route to AtmaNirbhar Bharat –Focus on Recent Initiatives and Roadmap Mr Pavan Mocherla Governing Council Member - CII NMTF & Managing Director India/South Asia Becton Dickinson India Pvt Ltd said that if India needs to achieve Aatmanirbhar in the area of medical device we need to focus on three key aspects which are; have a National Aatmanirbhar Bharat Mission, have a goal of what percentage we need to be selfreliant and we need to make the demand side of India more attractive.”

Dr V K Saraswat Member NITI Aayog in his valedictory address stated that the key factors responsible for the growth of the Indian medical device industry are changing medtech landscape due to upgradation of technology, growing awareness among producers & consumers on advancement of medical technology & improving healthcare delivery & financing. He said that healthcare is becoming more centered around the consumer. Addressing the medical devices fraternity Dr Saraswat stated that keeping frugality of innovation in mind will help medical device industry to reach out to low price markets and lower socio-economic groups. He also stressed the need for better process of public procurement that will affect the cost effectiveness of medical devices.

Dr Saraswat further added, “ There are several problems plaguing the medical devices sector such as Phase III trials, regulatory for drugs and devices being the same, issues related to environmental clearance and PLI scheme does not cover the brown-field system. We should create manufacturing clusters for APIs and medical devices.Future of medical devices would depend on their accessibility, affordability and quality and each of these pillars would require technology innovation. There is also a need to increase R&D activity for products suitable for the Indian market. Healthcare providers need to be involved in the innovation process. Also we need to engage with insurance players to include medical technology in insurance policies. Critical of all would be to establish independent Ministries for Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices for focused policy intervention.”

12 March 2021

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