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Is India lacking in Medical Device Manufacturing Industry?

calendar10 Apr, 2023
timeReading Time: 5 Minutes
Is India lacking in Medical Device Manufacturing Industry?

The medical device industry in India is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years. According to a report by Deloitte, the medical device market in India is projected to reach USD 50 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate[1] (CAGR) of 15.8% from 2020 to 2025. Various factors are contributing to this growth, including the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, the aging population, the rising demand for better healthcare services, and the government’s initiatives to promote domestic manufacturing. In this article, we will discuss about the drawbacks in the medical device sector along with the solutions for the growth and progress in the medical device manufacturing industry of India.

However, there are also some bright spots in the Indian medical device manufacturing industry. Some Indian manufacturers are developing innovative medical devices, and the Government of India is taking steps to promote local manufacturing and reduce dependence on imports.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of medical devices and equipment, leading to increased investments in the sector. The Government of India has also taken several steps to boost the production of medical devices within the country, such as increasing the import duties on medical devices to promote local manufacturing.

Challenges Faced By the Indian Medical Device Manufacturing Industry

Following are the challenges faced by the Indian Medical Device Manufacturing Industry:

  • One of the primary challenges faced by the Indian medical device manufacturing industry is the lack of a robust ecosystem for research and development. Many Indian medical device manufacturers focus on producing low-cost, low-tech devices, rather than investing in more advanced research and development.
  • Another challenge is the lack of a clear regulatory framework for medical devices. The Indian government has recently introduced new regulations for medical devices, but there is still some confusion and uncertainty around the approval process and compliance requirements.

Reasons for Which India’s Medical Device Manufacturing Industry Is Failing

India’s efforts to boost its medical devices industry are falling short due to several reasons. Some of the major factors are:

  • Lack of Infrastructure: The Indian medical device manufacturing industry lacks the necessary infrastructure required for manufacturing high-end medical devices. The country needs modernized testing facilities, proper storage facilities, and skilled workforce, which are currently insufficient.
  • Limited Research and Development: The medical device industry requires a considerable amount of research and development to keep up with global trends and advancements. However, India’s research and development efforts in the medical devices industry are limited, which hampers the development of new products.
  • Regulatory Issues: The Indian medical device industry is highly regulated, which makes it difficult for new players to enter the market. The regulatory framework is often seen as complex and time-consuming, which makes it hard for companies to bring new products to market.
  • Low Awareness: The Indian population lacks awareness about the importance of medical devices, which results in a low demand for these products. This low demand makes it difficult for companies to invest in research and development, which ultimately affects the growth of the industry.
  • Limited Access to Capital: Access to capital is essential for the growth of any industry. However, the Indian medical devices industry struggles to attract investments due to the lack of a robust ecosystem for venture capital and angel investors.

What Is The Future Of Medical Device Manufacturing Industry In India?

The future of the medical device manufacturing industry in India looks promising, and it is expected to continue to grow at a significant pace in the coming years. The country has a large pool of skilled and cost-effective labor, a vast market for healthcare services, and favorable government policies to support the industry’s growth.

However, there are several threats to the healthcare sector in India:

  • But one of the main threats is the lack of adequate infrastructure and resources.India has a large population, and the demand for healthcare services is constantly increasing. However, the country’s healthcare infrastructure is inadequate to meet the needs of its population. There is a shortage of hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, particularly in rural areas, where the majority of the population resides.
  • Another major threat is the high burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. India is home to some of the world’s highest rates of diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, and dengue. Additionally, the country is facing a growing burden of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. These diseases not only cause suffering and mortality but also put a significant strain on the healthcare system.
  • The healthcare sector in India also faces challenges related to accessibility & affordability of healthcare services.Many people in India are unable to access healthcare services due to financial constraints or geographic barriers. Additionally, the quality of healthcare services in some areas is degrading day-by-day, which can lead to negative health outcomes.

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of India’s healthcare system. The pandemic has put a significant strain on the healthcare infrastructure, leading to shortages of essential medical supplies and equipment, overwhelmed hospitals, and a shortage of healthcare workers. The pandemic has also highlighted the need for increased investment in healthcare research and development, as well as preparedness for future public health emergencies.

What Are The Probable Solutions That Can Make The Medical Industry In India A Progressive Leader?

India has the capability to become a global leader in the medical devices industry, but several challenges must be addressed to make this a reality.

The following are some solutions that can be implemented to bring India forward in the medical devices industry:

  • Creating A Conducive Policy Environment: The government needs to create a supportive policy environment that encourages investment in the medical device sector. The regulatory framework for medical devices should be streamlined and simplified, with clear guidelines for approvals, registrations, and pricing. The government should also provide incentives such as tax breaks, subsidies, and grants to encourage research and development of innovative medical devices.
  • Fostering Innovation and R&D: There is a need for investment in research and development to create innovative medical devices that can compete globally. The government should encourage public-private partnerships and collaborations to fund research and development in the medical devices sector. The establishment of research centers and incubators that support startups and entrepreneurs can also help promote innovation.
  • Skilling and Training of Human Resources: The availability of skilled manpower is a critical factor for the success of the medical devices industry. The government should promote education and training programs to develop skilled professionals in areas such as design, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing. This can be achieved through partnerships with industry associations, academic institutions, and vocational training centers.
  • Strengthening The Manufacturing Ecosystem: India needs to develop a robust manufacturing ecosystem that can support the production of high-quality medical devices. This includes developing a reliable supply chain for raw materials, components, and finished products. The government can promote the development of industrial parks and special economic zones that cater specifically to the medical devices industry.
  • Building Quality Infrastructure: To meet global standards, India needs to build quality infrastructure, including testing labs, certification agencies, and quality control mechanisms. This will help build trust in the products produced in India and enable them to compete globally.
  • Promoting Exports: India has a huge potential for exporting medical devices to other countries. The government can promote exports by creating trade agreements, providing subsidies, and establishing marketing networks. This can help Indian manufacturers to enter new markets and expand their reach.

Conclusion

In summary, India’s efforts to boost its medical devices industry are falling short due to a lack of infrastructure, limited research and development, regulatory issues, low awareness, and limited access to capital. Addressing these challenges will require a concerted effort from the government, industry players, and other stakeholders. Overall, while India still has some work to do in terms of developing a robust and innovative medical device manufacturing industry, there are signs of progress and potential for growth in the future. Thus, it can be said, bringing India forward in the medical devices industry requires a coordinated effort from the government, industry players, and other stakeholders. By implementing the above solutions, India can create a thriving medical devices industry that can compete globally and improve healthcare outcomes for millions of people.

Also Read:
Importance Of Medical Device Compliance In India – An Overview

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