A TECHNO-ECONOMIC NEWS MAGAZINE FOR MEDICAL PLASTICS AND PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
Our 11th Year of Publication
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Cover Story

Challenges Faced By Indian Medical Disposables Manufacturers 

 

- Mr C S Patel, President, Medical Disposables Manufacturers Assn. 

The small scale Medical Plastics Disposables Manufacturing Units in Gujarat contribute approximate 60 % of country’s production and supply of Medical Disposable Products like Intravenous Infusion (I.V.) Sets. With the origin of this Indian Medical Device Industry in Gujarat about 30 years back, this industry has grown many fold mostly in small scale sector. 

The growth of the Plastics Industry has tremendously supported the growth of the Medical Disposables Manufacturing Industry. Used in the form of tubes, components and packaging materials, plastics contribute more than 75 % of the cost of production. 

Medical Disposables Manufacturers of Gujarat have successfully faced a number of challenges in last one decade. From an unorganized state , the Industry has upgraded to almost the International Standard with some of the firms now having the National and International Quality Certifications like GMP, ISO, CE , WHO GMP etc. 

However , the current problem of unprecedented price hikes in the prices of the major input, i.e. Plastic Raw Materials faced by the Industry is likely to result in large scale sickness. The industry is struggling hard to deal with this new challenge. 

The small and medium scale medical disposables manufacturing units in Gujarat contribute approximately 60 % of country’s production and supply of medical disposables products. With the origin of this Industry in Gujarat about 30 years back , this industry has grown manifold. 

Different types of Plastics Raw Materials are the major inputs to this industry of course along with skilled labour force. The commonly used plastics materials are PVC, PP, LDPE, HDPE, ABS, HMHDPE, PS, Polyacetal, Polycarbonate etc. An overview of the share of different plastic materials is given in the following diagram. Because of the cost and property advantages of the Plastic Materials, 75 to 80 % of the cost of production for the Medical Disposables Products is contributed by the cost of Plastic Materials. 

It is interesting to note that more than 90 % of the Units are in small scale sector. With the awareness of quality and the demand of use of Medical Disposables going up, the small scale manufacturers of Medical Disposables upgraded their facilities to meet the National And International Quality demands. 

However, this resulted in requirements for Capital investments and increased the financial burden on the industry. 

While the Industry was finding ways to meet these challenges, one more serious challenge came in last one year. The prices of Plastic Raw Materials started increasing frequently. The prices increased more than 15 times just in a period of one year. Not only the prices for plastic materials have increased from 25 % to 57%, depending on the materials, availability of the raw materials has also become difficult. 

Alongwith the Plastics Material prices , the prices of some of the chemicals required like plasticizers / stabiliszers etc. also increased in the similar way. Since the availability is restricted, the open market prices are more by 4 to 5 Rs / Kg. as premium because of non-availability of materials in time. 

It is learnt that the situation is going to worsen in the coming months. This has resulted in number of problems for the Medical Disposables Manufacturing Industry. 

Manufacturers are not in a position to continue supplies and will be compelled to increase the prices of their finished products. 

Manufacturers have already given price commitments for tender supplies. Price commitments for a period of 6 months to 1 year are also given for exports. 

Working capital needs have increased because advance payments are to be made and more working capital is required for procuring same quantity of raw materials. A number of small manufacturers are forced to close down their industries since they are not able to get higher price realizations and they are also not able to manage the increased working capital needs. 

Because of this unfortunate situation , the market is likely to face a serious short supply situation since most of the Medical Disposables are manufactured from Plastics Materials. 

The MEDICAL DISPOSABLES MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION therefore appeals to all the end users , i.e. Doctors, Hospitals, Dealers and Distributors to kindly appreciate our position and support the manufacturers as and when they approach with the price hike. Survival of the Indian Medical Disposables Manufacturing Industry is in the interest of everybody from Patients to Manufacturers. 

Polymer price hikes not confined to Asia alone - makers in Europe announce September revisions - Aug 13, 2004 

In an overnight report a polymerupdate source in Europe conveyed that in response to the current bullish global conditions local resin producers were gearing up to announce significant price hikes on their September polymer contracts.

Basell was reported to be seeking a minimum hike of € 50/mt for it’s September PP contracts which when coupled with the revisions seen over July and August covered the corresponding rise of €60/mt in the Q3 North West European propylene contract rates. Hence according to analysts the September increase was inevitable. 

Meanwhile Sabic is believed to have announced a €100/mt increase in all it’s PE offers effective from September 1st. The hikes again were definite owing to limited ethylene feedstock avails and robust PE demand not only in Europe but in other parts of the world too, especially Asia 

Plans of hikes were also reported in PVC, where select makers indicated increases of €50/mt for September while targeted gains in PS were the sharpest at between €200-250/mt for next month owing to the surge in SM feedstock costs, exacerbated by the recent BASF outage.
( www.polymerupdate.com )

 

AN APPEAL 

THE MEDICAL DISPOSABLES MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION APPEALS TO THE END USERS i.e. DOCTORS, HOSPITALS, DEALERS AND DISTRIBUTORS TO APPRECIATE THE PRICE INCREASES RESULTING FROM THIS SITUATION AND SUPPORT MEDICAL DISPOSABLES MANUFACTURERS . SURVIVAL OF THE INDIAN MEDICAL DISPOSABLES MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IS IN THE INTEREST OF EVERYBODY, FROM PATIENTS TO MANUFACTURERS.

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