A TECHNO-ECONOMIC NEWS MAGAZINE FOR MEDICAL PLASTICS AND PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
Our 17th Year of Publication
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Cover Story

Event Report

Conference On Indian Medical Devices and Plastics Disposables Industry 2010

“Indian Medical Device Industry: Challenges Ahead”.

Keynote Address by Shri Kishore Khanna, Managing Director, Romsons Groups Of Industries.

  • At present our highest challenge is to establish the Indian Medical Device Industry as global supplier of reliable quality medical devices and in order to over come that our priority should be to manufacture world class medical devices.

  • A considerable growth in the medical devices segment which is mainly due to formation of new corporate hospitals, new upcoming facilities and new health care facilities throughout the country. This has created significant gap between the  demand and supply, a demand currently answered by the exports.

  • Automation combined with innovation; we have no option but to automate our production facilities. Automation combined with innovation is the key to the success

  • We will also need state of art-labs for design validation as well as for clinical evaluation as they play key role in  development of medical devices.

Appreciating the efforts of the organizers, Mr. Kishore Khanna mentioned that such a conference is an avenue to share experience and learn from each other. Highlighting the current scenario for the Indian Medical Device Industry, he further said that “Over the years, India has developed a strong capability in manufacturing certain classes of medical devices. Soon this industry will touch 3 billion $ market. But what makes me sad is the mindset of consumers globally when it comes to “made in India” brand. This is where all bottleneck in the industry starts. This is why we have stringent regulatory controls. And this is why it is a matter of great concern for the authority to issue manufacturing licenses; this is why we have such high dependency on imports of high-end medical devices.

There is no doubt that our legitimate industry is very much capable of producing with speed, a quality product but at the same time, there is other side of industry which has unregulated manufacturers giving bad name to our industry. However slowly & gradually, this mind set is changing & Indian Medical Device industry is gaining momentum & emerging as low cost, high-tech quality provider.”

“At present our highest challenge is to establish the Indian Medical Device Industry as global supplier of reliable quality medical devices and in order to over come that our priority should be to manufacture world class medical devices.”

“In past couple of years, we have seen considerable growth in the medical devices segment which is mainly due to formation of new corporate hospitals, new upcoming facilities and new health care facilities throughout the country. This has created significant gap between the demand and supply, a demand currently answered by the exports. Thus we need to break this chain and develop our production facilities which can consistently produce good quality medical devices to fill up the existing gap in the Indian market as well as overseas market. The commendable approach taken by the health ministry and DCGI in the last two years to really understand medical device as a separate entity and thus has gone forward to regulate it by forming Schedule M-III which is in the state of final approval.

I believe it to turn out to be extremely beneficial to the manufacturers and help the industry to attain the title of global supplier of reliable quality of medical devices. Recently I received an enquiry from a European country, inquiring about the DEHP contents in the medical devices supply. I am sure we all are aware that from March 2010 onwards, we need to mention on the labels of the products whether it contains DEHP. Now this kind of examples states the future requirements.

Keeping this in mind, we have to cultivate ourselves in such a manner so that we remain competent, updated with the need of  customers globally. In addition to the above , industry is also facing challenges like manufacturing, certification of manufacturing units, certification of devices, registration of devices in different countries, pre-sale certification etc. But our future challenges are going to be different. I am not saying that these challenges will not be there tomorrow but there
will be lot more than we already have today. I think that we all agree that our ministry wants to push these industries by setting standards, capacity building and hopefully with there support, Indian Medical Device Industry will emerge as a potential market of growth and guaranteed returns.

But the bad news is that, with this rapid growth and research facilities, it is more likely that more and more multinational giants to enter the Indian Medical Device industry market and setup their manufacturing in India to produce low cost and high quality devices which will give fierce competition to the domestic manufacturers. So it is extremely important for Indian manufacturers to constantly upgrade themselves with the industry trend.

Despite the growth in sales, the medical device industry is having tough times to maintain low operational labor and overhead  cost to sustain competitive edge and profitability. With continuous increase in labor cost in our country, we are soon going to lose business to lower cost countries. Automation combined with innovation; we have no option but to automate our production facilities. Automation combined with innovation is the key to the success. There is no doubt this will consume a lot more energy, Capital, Time, skilled manpower. But sooner we will do this, our industry will emerge.

There was a time when our customers used to be only physicians, nurses or patients. But today there is a whole network of  stakeholders involved - regulatory bodies, hospital management authorities, insurance companies as well as patients, which influence the purchasing decisions. The challenge for medical devices companies is to create relationship with all the stakeholders. As the no. of contact part increases more functions of the organizations are involved and coordinating these activities can be quit cumbersome. Needless to mention, the added cost involved with it. But this is one of the key areas  which also needs to be focused.

Not for too long the Chinese manufacturers where focused on producing consumer electronics and other FMCG products for multinationals. But now they are realizing there true potential in the medical device segment and their exports of medical devices have grown phenomenally in comparison to India. China’s medical device industry is much ahead of India and slowly they are improving upon their quality. Therefore it is quite likely that before we know, they will capitalize on this opportunity and stir a major junk of India’s exports. So beware of china and innovate constantly.

One of the key requirements will be innovating of new designs for developing of new Medical Devices which are safe and biocompatible. We will also need state of art-labs for design validation as well as for clinical evaluation as they play key role in development of medical devices. The idea is that our manufacturing facilities be designed to adopt new technology as quickly as possible and consistently produce reliable quality of medical devices.

In the end I would like to conclude by saying that medical device industry is changing very fast. There is increasing pressure on prices and profit and margins of Medical Devices companies. Faster adoption of newer technologies and global stages of market launches are now critical success factors. There are lots of opportunities coming our way like development of clusters, economic tax laws, tax heavens all under one umbrella reduces the cost and expenses. We as an industry have to realize that there is more positive outcome in working together rather than competing against each other. More domestics  companies and MNCs should look forward to working alongside to each other with synergetic relationship that will enable all parties to benefits and will ensure the growth and wellbeing of the Indian medical device industry.”

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