New Delhi (The Hawk): “India’s pharmaceutical industry is robust, resilient and responsive. It is due to this that we could not only meet our own demand during the pandemic, but also be in a position to supply medicines to 150 countries.” This was stated by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya as he inaugurated the 8th International Conference on Pharma and Medical Device Sector in the presence of Shri Bhagwanth Khuba, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Ms. S Aparna, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, and Shri Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India. This conference is organized by the Department of Pharmaceuticals in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for two days to promote India as a manufacturing hub of quality medical products in the pharmaceutical and Medical Device Sector.
Recalling and reiterating the Prime Minister’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and the ethos of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Dr Mandaviya stated “India played a phenomenal role in meeting the requirements of not just its domestic but needs of many others under unprecedented circumstances.”
Dr. Mandaviya unveiled the National Medical Devices Policy, 2023, and launched the Export Promotion Council for Medical Devices. Additionally, the Union Minister also launched a scheme titled ‘Assistance for Medical Devices clusters for Common Facilities (AMD-CF)’. This scheme aims to establish and strengthen common infrastructure facilities in the medical devices clusters and fortify testing facilities for medical devices.
Highlighting the immense potential of this sector, Dr. Mandaviya stated “"India's pharmaceutical sector, called as the Pharmacy of the World, will be contributing more in the coming years for the domestic needs and to cater to global demand too." Declared as a sunrise sector, the Health Minister emphasized that this is an emerging manufacturing hub that has seen phenomenal progress with the implementation of production linked incentive schemes and investments for medical drug parks. Our competitive advantage over other nations is price competitiveness and quality. He further added “if we are to continue being 'Pharmacy of the World', there can be no laxity with the quality of our pharmaceutical products, our products should also be affordable and competitive in the global market.”
Emphasizing that the Government is committed to supporting the sector with industry friendly policies and investor promoting ecosystem, he added that “the government advocates a holistic approach for growth taking into account deep stakeholder consultations enabling a comprehensive, long -term policy ecosystem.” Dr. Mandaviya also focused on the investments in research and development, building efficient manufacturing capacities along with creating ample opportunities for innovation that support a vibrant ecosystem for this sector.
Highlighting the role of Government in supporting the medical device industry, the Minister of State noted “various initiatives in the form of Production Linked Scheme for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices have served to catalyze growth and development in this sector and enable the industry to evolve in value chain from being manufacturers of generics to high value patented drugs, new technologies like cell and gene therapy, precision medicine amongst others.” He reiterated that the potential must be channeled and supported with substantial resources to achieve the potential this sector holds.”
Shri Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India emphasized on the fact that the Medical Device sector is undergoing a metamorphosis phase,, underscoring that innovation is the key to success.”
Following the inaugural session, a CEO roundtable was chaired by Dr. Mandaviya that facilitated stakeholders in deliberating on the existing issues as well as discussing avenues for growth of the sector on a national as well international forum. The Union Health Minister engaged with the stakeholders holding an in-depth consultation with them and urged the participants to brainstorm the ideas on various fronts - policy, economic, research and innovation.
The conference was attended by Shri N Yuvaraj, Joint Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Srikar Reddy, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, DCGI Dr. Rajeev Raghuvanshi, Chairman NPPA Shri Kamlesh Pant, Shri Shailesh Pathak, Secretary General, FICCI, and various industry stakeholders and representatives of academia.