In his letter, Nath highlighted key issues Indian Medical Devices industry has been requesting Govt to support to address 90 per cent import dependence and over Rs 45000 crore medical devices import bill by simple Executive Orders or by Policy
Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) in a letter to PM Narendra Modi, wholeheartedly thanked the PM for considering 10 per cent of GDP as economy boosting package, which is very favourable and among top five countries in the world. This is the opportunity for India to vie for being the second factory in the world for medical devices and a dependable manufacturer of quality products in global supply chain.
In his letter, Nath highlighted the key issues the Indian Medical Devices industry has been requesting Govt to support to address the 90 per cent import dependence and over Rs 45000 crore medical devices import bill by simple Executive Orders or by Policy. They don’t seek subsidies.
As India has all the potential to be second factory of the world for medical devices, Nath said India should not lose this opportunity to make India self-reliant in medical devices and requested the PM to ask Ministries to act on following :
1) Expedite Govt payments. Ease cash flow. Many MSME not paid over 6-12 months to public healthcare.
2) Custom Duty increase to 15 per cent on medical devices as done for mobile phones, up from current zero to 7.5 per cent or manufacturer will keep on importing, cheaper and convenient.
3) Ban import of preowned medical electronics
4) Preferential price on sale to public healthcare as permissible by GFR 153 and WTO based on Domestic Content per cent e.g.
- 15 per cent for 50 per cent Domestic Content
- 10 per cent for 40 per cent Domestic Content
- 5 per cent for 25 per cent Domestic Content
5) Medical Device Law needed as soon as possible as Drugs Act is not appropriate for innovative engineering products like medical electronics. Ventilators could not have been made by multiple new manufacturers in 3-4 weeks, like by Maruti, had Drugs Act already been applicable on ventilators. Additionally in absence of the Regulatory Approval, manufacturer are discouraged to sell to public health, by Exclusionary Clause US FDA approval clause.
6) Regulate MRP – Consumer electronics like infrared thermometer needs to have a maximum MRP 3-4 times of import price. Currently a less than Rs 1000 non contact thermometer is selling at Rs 6000-10,000 black marketing.
7) Customs may collate demand at national level and share with us, (quantitative and price range) to attract manufacturing scale up.
In the last four weeks by teamwork of MSME Medical Electronic Manufacturers, Auto Makers, PSU’s, Scientists in DRDO, Component Association and Govt Dept helped to boost manufacturing of ventilators and from 5500 ventilators per month in February India will make over 33000 ventilators in May and 40,000 in June from 15 manufacturers. By teamwork it’s possible.
“The government has thankfully quickly taken some much needed drastic and bold steps to control the pandemic. We also appreciate the collaborative efforts of the Govt approving the much needed schemes and policies for promotion of the domestic manufacturing of medical devices in the country. In our recent interactions with the government, we have represented in detail what all needs to be done to make India self-reliant in medical devices and hope the announcements will address the issues we raised”, concluded Nath.