India in place to grow in the manufacturing of medical devices in the coming years and the A.P. Medtech Zone in Visakhapatnam will play a crucial role in the achievement, experts opined while speaking on the second day of the fourth Global Summit on Medical Devices jointly being organised by the WHO, A.P. government and the Centre.
“Though a little is known about the progress the pharma sector has achieved in India, the country is now all set to make a mark in the manufacturing of medical devices. We have got everything to find our stride. A.P. Medtech Zone will be the game changer,” Balaram Bhargava, Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said.
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He also sounded a word of caution on encouraging startups in the sector. “It is all right to encourage innovation and startups in the sector. But it should be strictly need-based. Some technologies have to killed in the early stages if they are not required,” he opined.
NITI Aayog member V.K Paul described A.P. Medtech Zone as ‘a jewel in the crown of India’s development’.
“Two more such zones are being proposed—one in the national capital region and another either in Maharashtra or Gujarat. But, A.P. Medtech Zone will play a major role in the manufacturing of medical devices for sure,” he said. According to Mr. Paul, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) had finalised 1,210 standards for 965 medical device products.
“Standardisation is critical to the growth of the industry. The BIS standards are on a par with international standards and there will be no compromise on quality control,” he said.
Participating in the programme, Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey said he was very impressed with the progress the A.P. Medtech Zone had made thus far and promised all support to it. Arun Singhal, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said generic medicines, cheap and effective medical devices and telemedicine would be of great help in ensuring healthcare to all sections of the society in urban and rural areas as well. The summit would conclude on Saturday.