NITI Aayog readying Make In India fillip for domestic medical devices

Maitri Porecha New Delhi | Updated on January 07, 2020

A preliminary list of 10 device-categories with most export potential have been drawn up for prioritising domestic production. More can be added later, said officials   -  Volodymyr Kryshtal

‘Too many departments are involved in approvals. We want to hasten the process’

To eliminate bottlenecks in domestic medical devices businesses, government think-tank NITI Aayog is drawing up a list of devices which have most potential for export. A tentative list of 10 such device-categories has been drawn up, officials said.

Preliminary list

Devices under the NITI Aayog scanner for providing priority subsidy or funding are cardiac stents, orthopaedic implants, surgical blades, catheters, X-Ray machines, syringes and needles, blood bags, CT Scan and MRI Machines as well as sutures. “This list is being drawn up so that their domestic manufacturing can be prioritised. However, more devices are slated to be added in follow-up meetings. This is a preliminary list,” an official, who was present at a meeting called by NITI Aayog told Businessline.

The meeting was chaired by VK Saraswat, Member, Science and Technology, NITI Aayog, who said that the government was looking at a single window framework for accelerating standardisation, body certification, declaring the device safe and so on. “Currently there are too many departments involved in giving approvals, and thus they get delayed. We want to hasten this process,” Saraswat said.

Export boost

Sources said that the government is contemplating reimbursement to the company if the registration registration takes place in foreign countries. “Reimbursement of costs incurred while conducting clinical trials, as well as that for conducting Research and Development, patent filing charges will also be looked into,” said the source. A domestic stent manufacturer who did not want to be quoted said, “In the last clinical trial we undertook for getting registered our stent product with the USFDA, we spent close to ₹200 crore. This when we are already licensed by Indian regulators and our product is certified. There are a number of bottlenecks for domestic companies to boost exports. The government is looking at incentives like subsidies and preference, so that the exports of Indian products receives a fillip.”

Himanshu Baid, Chairman, CII Medical Technology Division said that all countries provide incentives to their domestic manufacturers for boosting their business.

“Our biggest competitor is China, and largely their industry is thriving on domestic production (up to 95 per cent), India needs to give it’s domestic industry,” he said.

Published on January 07, 2020

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