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Cabinet approves National Medical Devices Policy, aims USD 11 Bn to USD 50 Bn growth in five years

Cabinet approves National Medical Devices Policy, aims to grow from USD 11 Bn to USD 50 Bn in five years

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the National Medical Devices Policy, 2023. The medical devices sector in India is a vital and integral constituent of the country’s healthcare system. As India supported the domestic and international fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through the mass production of medical devices and diagnostic kits, such as Ventilators, Rapid Antigen Test Kits, Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) Kits, Infrared (IR) Thermometers, Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) Kits, and N-95 masks, the contribution of the Indian medical devices sector has become even more noticeable.

In India, the medical devices sector is a sunrise sector which is expanding at a fast pace. The market size of the medical devices sector in India is estimated to be $11 billion (approximately, ₹90,000 Cr) in 2020 and its share in the global medical device market is estimated to be 1.5%.

It has an enormous potential to become self-reliant and help achieve the aim of universal healthcare. The Government of India has already initiated implementation of PLI Scheme for medical devices and support for setting up of four Medical devices Parks in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

A total of 26 projects have been approved under the PLI plan for medical devices so far, with a committed investment of Rs. 1206 Cr. Out of this, an investment of Rs. 714 Cr. has been made.

Under the PLI scheme, a total of 14 projects producing 37 products have been commissioned and domestic manufacturing of high-end medical devices has started which include Linear Accelerator, MRI Scan, CT-Scan, Mammogram, C-Arm, MRI Coils, high end X-ray tubes, etc. Remaining 12 products will be commissioned in the near future. Five projects out of total 26 projects have been approved recently, under Category B, for domestic manufacturing of 87 products.

Building upon these measures, a holistic policy framework to accelerate this growth and fulfil the potential of the sector is the need of the hour. While various Departments of the Government have undertaken programmatic interventions to encourage the sector, the current policy aims to put in place a comprehensive set of focus areas for growth of the sector in a coordinated manner.  

In view of the diversity and multi-disciplinary nature of the sector, the rules, training, and trade promotion for the medical device business are dispersed over a number of government departments, both at the central and state levels. The interventions must be combined in a coherent way to enable focused and effective support and facilitation for the sector by the respective agencies.

The National Medical Devices Policy, 2023 is expected to facilitate an orderly growth of the medical device sector to satisfy the public health goals of accessibility, affordability, quality, and innovation. Encouraging domestic investments and production of medical devices complements the Government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ programs.

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