Companies

Local production will bring down medical device prices: Trivitron

PT Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on August 10, 2020 Published on August 10, 2020

Drops prices on Covid test kits; expects sector to mimic pharma growth

Trivitron Healthcare’s GSK Velu expects medical devices to trace a similar path to that of pharmaceuticals, with an increased number of players bringing down the product-cost.

The med-tech company has decreased the price of its RT-PCR test kits for Covid-19 to ₹500 apiece, Velu, Trivitron’s CMD, told BusinessLine, adding that it could drop further to ₹350. Till about three months ago, these cost about ₹2,000, he said, adding that indigenous manufacturing and an increased production capacity facilitated the price drop of the RT-PCR testing kits, including the viral transport media and RNA extraction kits, to under ₹500.

“This is the story of the Indian medical devices industry. Local manufacturing is important to bringing down prices,” he said of a sector where a lion’s share is now import-dependent. Trivitron has been selling these kits in the domestic market since April. In addition to its basket of testing products, the company is poised to bring out antigen tests.

“It is similar to the pharma story, where more producers will have an impact on product prices,” he said, adding that investing in the production of quality healthcare products is more important than even defence equipment.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), about 192 RT-PCR kits have been vetted by their validation centres and about 94 (up to last Friday) have been found satisfactory. The list had a mix of locally produced and imported kits.

Ventilators, next

Velu said the company will soon launch ventilators in line with the required specifications and these, too, would be at a fraction of earlier costs.

Ventilator producers in India ran into difficulties as they innovated and brought out less expensive ventilators only to face procurement delays at the State and hospital levels, as product specifications allegedly kept changing.

But Velu is optimistic about the potential. “This is just the pilot, and it will gradually extend to MRIs and CT scanners etc,” he said. Covid-19 has “pressurised” companies that earlier found it easier to import med-tech products to now focus their research and development efforts and innovate for the local and overseas market, and at competitive prices, he observed.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on August 10, 2020
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor