Task force for medical device expected to submit its report this week

Suja Nair ShirodkarWednesday, February 11, 2015, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The task force, set up by government to gauge and identify the growth parameters for the development of the domestic medical device industry, is expected to submit its detailed report to the chairman of the task force this week.  The report consists of observations made by the government and regulatory experts on the regulatory changes and amendments required to be made in the law to accelerate the growth of the sector within the country.

This task force was constituted by the Centre to provide assistance to the select sectors identified by the government having high potential for growth. Incidentally, medical device sector was one among the select few. Over the past few months, experts from the task force had been reportedly meeting stakeholders to understand their key challenges and problems hampering the development of the domestic manufacturers.

Once submitted and reviewed by the chairman of the task force, this report along with his recommendations and changes, if any, will be further submitted to the Centre for final decision.  The Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED) which has been working very closely with the task force stressed that they were eagerly waiting for the final report to come, with the expectations that unlike the previous reports, this evaluation will be at least in favour of the domestic manufacturers, who have been till now overlooked by the Centre.

Apart from enumerating the current market size, key products and the indigenous manufacturers of these products, this report also highlights some key issues faced by the domestic manufacturers as well. Rajiv Nath, president of AIMED, stressed that this is a huge milestone for them with high expectations riding on the final decision.

“Till now, domestic manufacturers in the country had to not only cope with the unfair competition from the multinationals but also with a non co-operative stand of the government as well. This proposal for industry friendly intervention from the Centre comes as very welcome and desperately sought out measure. We need to create an environment that boosts domestic manufacturing. If we start as subcontractors and remain subcontractors and reinforce brand of MNC's then make in India and made by India will not happen. We need to give consumers and medical users a chance to endorse actual manufacturers and not pseudo manufacturers. Thus stress should be given on developing innovative technology through dedicated R&D efforts for which the government should also provide an encouraging environment,” pointed out Nath.