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May 7, 2024

Government and Industry Collaborate to Reduce Import Dependency in India’s Med-Tech Sector

The Department of Pharmaceuticals Secretary, Arunish Chawla, emphasized the necessity for government-industry collaboration to diminish import reliance in India’s medical technology (med-tech) segment. Chawla urged concerted efforts to decrease import dependence below 50% within the next five years. Speaking at an industry event, he stressed the importance of quality and global competitiveness.

Currently, India’s med-tech sector relies on imports for 75-80% of its needs. Chawla outlined plans to reduce this figure significantly by enhancing domestic manufacturing standards. The government aims to formulate standards for over 2,000 medical devices to align with global benchmarks, with 1,500 already established and 500 more in progress.

Chawla highlighted initiatives such as the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme, which has stimulated domestic production and even led to exports of previously imported medical devices. He mentioned that exports have surpassed imports in consumables and disposables, signaling positive growth momentum.

The Meditech Stackathon 2024 provided a platform for discussions on scaling up medical device exports to match import levels. Chawla emphasized a mission of “zero defect, full effect,” indicating the commitment to quality. The government, through bodies like BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards), aims to create standards equivalent to ISO for medical devices, enhancing global competitiveness.

India’s med-tech industry, currently at USD 14 billion, is projected to grow to USD 50 billion by 2030. Despite being the fourth largest market for medical devices in Asia and among the top 20 globally, India’s import dependence remains a concern. However, with initiatives like the PLI scheme and focus on quality standards, the sector is poised for substantial growth.

Himanshu Baid, Chairman of CII National Medical Technology Forum, emphasized the importance of data collation mechanisms to bridge consumption and production gaps. He sees India capturing 10% of the global market share in med-tech over the next decade, indicating the sector’s promising future.

In collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Department of Pharmaceuticals organized the Meditech Stackathon 2024, underscoring the collective effort required to propel India’s med-tech sector towards self-reliance and global competitiveness.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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