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US-India Business Council concludes Medical Device Trade Mission to New Delhi


The delegation highlighted short-term policy measures required to unlock the industry’s potential

The US-India Business Council (USIBC) concluded its Medical Device Trade Mission to New Delhi on December 22, 2015. The delegation, led by Maulik Nanavaty, Senior VP and President for Neuromodulation, Boston Scientific, consist of representatives from Boston Scientific, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Abbott, Medtronic, Johnson and Johnson, Varian Medical, GE Healthcare, Underwriters Laboratory and other US-based companies. Reportedly, the delegation expressed its commitment to working with the Indian government to create the proper ecosystem to incentivise investment in the medical technology sector (medtech) and ensure better health outcomes across the country.

BCG’s analysis provides insight into the unique nature of the medtech industry relative to biopharma and other industries. The report notes the crucial role local R&D plays alongside testing, clinical trials and manufacturing as growth drivers in the industry and noted that in order to ‘Make in India, an ecosystem must first be created to ‘Innovate in India.’ The analysis also highlights the relationship between medtech exports and the size of local medtech market, with the exception of jurisdictions with significant tax advantages.

The delegation encouraged the Indian government to move forward on focused R&D investment with the goal of developing ‘fit-for-market’ products against pressing disease states in India and emerging markets. They believe this will lead to industry growth through development of a local medtech ecosystem and a manufacturing base to satisfy domestic and global demand.

The delegation also highlighted short-term policy measures required to unlock the industry’s potential including the creation of a strong and independent medtech regulatory body and adoption of internationally harmonised standards (e.g. labelling requirements) in close coordination between all stakeholders including Indian clinicians, regulators, industry bodies, and multinational companies. Longer-term recommendations centered on expansion of healthcare coverage in India and tax incentives to promote manufacturing.

Meetings with the Government of India included Ministry of Health, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of External Affairs, and others.

“We were pleased to engage in productive discussions over the past few days on the roadmap outlined by BCG toward accelerating investment in India’s medtech sector. BCG’s recommendations build on India’s many strengths, including top-notch engineering talent and success in IT innovation, and suggest creating the necessary ecosystem to make India a hub for research and development and market-appropriate product innovation in India. The time is now for public-private collaboration to fulfill India’s potential in this space,” said Nanavaty.

Colm Foley from BCG said, “Medtech is an attractive industry for India – one in which India can leverage its competitive advantages to build a unique position the ecosystem. We see great opportunities for ‘win-win’ collaboration via private-public partnerships between the Indian government, Indian researchers, Indian clinicians, and US-based MNCs. R&D is one place where all parties are incentivised to work together and we believe a focus on innovation in India can help drive ‘Make in India.’”

“USIBC is pleased to support BCG’s analysis as a path forward and has encouraged the adoption of many of the recommendations. For example, a high priority for our members continues to be the passage of legislation that would provide specific regulations for medical devices, which are currently treated as pharmaceuticals under India’s Drug & Cosmetics Act. Our medical device members are excited about the opportunities in India and look forward to continuing to work with the Indian government on investment incentives and improved health outcomes,” said Amy Hariani, Director and Legal Policy Council at the US-India Business Council.

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