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NEW DELHI : The Department of Pharmaceuticals will shortly circulate a draft note of the proposed new Medical Device Policy 2022 for cabinet approval that will seek to turn India into a global manufacturing hub for medical devices.

All stakeholder consultations have been completed and the government think tank NITI Aayog has asked the department to prepare a mechanism to attract venture capital funding and drive local production of medical devices.

The aim is to make medical devices one of the champion sectors and boost India’s 10-12% share of the global medical devices industry.

The draft note envisages that by 2047, India will be among the top five global manufacturing hubs in terms of value and technology for medical devices, and it will emerge as a champion in critical components, cancer diagnostics, medical imaging and ultrasonic scans among others. India now ranks among the world’s top 20 global medical devices market, and is the 4th largest medical devices market in Asia after Japan, China, and South Korea.

“We have received remarks from all the stakeholders and departments. They have accepted and supported the policy also. So, we have got a very good response from all the people," said an official aware of the matter requesting anonymity. “In fact, NITI Aayog has told the Department of Pharmaceuticals to raise the capacity of domestic manufacturing by exploring venture capital and private equity," the official said.

Experts said the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns brought the government's focus on medical devices when international supply chains were disrupted, which in turn prompted the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative or domestic production of medical devices.

“We are delighted that the union government has finally come out with a Medical Devices Policy. This was long awaited. Now over 20 ministries and government department can work in a coordinated manner to address the ever-rising graph of imports which went up by a steep 41% to 63,000 crore last year (approx $8.5 billion) leading to over 80% import dependence. India needs a predictable policy and regulatory ecosystem to consider manufacturing in India. There are now exciting Make In India possibilities for and we invite MNC and other mid-sized specialist manufacturers to put up green field manufacturing plants in India as 100% FDI or Joint Ventures or as technical collaborations," said Dr Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD).

"As far as data is concerned, till now 80%of medical devices are imported in India. The production of medical devices is restricted in some areas and we need to expand it. So, this can happen when there is a tech transfer happening in the medical device sector. A long-term policy can actually help to enhance production and India has a potential to be a hub for exports in medical devices," said Jatin Mahajan, managing director, J Mitra & Co. Pvt Ltd which deals in manufacturing of in-vitro diagnostics and secretary of Association of Diagnostic Manufacturers of India.

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