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Cover Story

Global Medical Device Business And
India's Changing Role :
Trends and Challenges


This was accomplished with active support and cooperation from over 50 specialized engineers from Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) who commissioned the facility. With an initial capacity to make six million dialysers per annum, which can be ramped-up, Nipro plans to export 90 per cent of its production in the beginning.

In addition to the Shirwal facility, it has a factory in Tripura to make glass vials and ampules and plants in Meerut, Badlapur, Chiplun and Tarapur to make pharma glass tubing. Another plant is being set up in Khopoli.

This factory would manufacture the highest quality of artificial kidney (dialyzers), disposable syringes & needles, cannulas, IVC (Intravenous Catheters), AVF (arterial venous fistulas) and BTS (blood tubing sets).

Nipro Corporation has manufacturing facilities in Japan, Thailand, China, Brazil, USA, Indonesia, Bangladesh and India.

The new facility is a testament to Nipro Corporation’s strategy to expand its worldwide presence in the major economies.


India Spawning Top Notch Medical Devices Companies With Cutting-Edge Tech At Affordable Prices

In India, about 15 babies die every minute due to asphyxiation in maternity homes that can't afford the costly imported infant warmers. As a student of IIT Chennai in 1988, Sashi Kumar was asked to repair imported baby warmers for a hospital & he didn’t only fix the warmers but also started making them on his own & his company Phoenix Medical Systems was born.

India's $63-billion healthcare market imports almost 65% of the required medical devices, which are often too expensive to be used by small nursing homes. But sensing the need and the urgency, many Indians are now making cheaper X-ray machines, imaging equipment, ECG scanners and even robots to cure cancer, blindness and heart diseases.

The medical device industry in India is set to grow 23% to $6 billion by this year end, according to KPMG. Cost is not the only driver; gaps in medical treatment have led some Indians to come up with breakthrough innovations. Treating cancer by robots is an example. Chennai-based Perfint Healthcare has developed next-generation robots that treat cancer by precisely inserting a needle in the affected area to burn or freeze a patient's tumor, leaving the good tissue alone. The founders of the firm, all former GE Healthcare employees, quit their jobs to form this venture when they realised that the treatment available then would also kill the good tissue, making it harder for cancer patients to survive.

One of the reasons for the spurt in the growth of medical device makers is that almost a decade ago, many IITs and engineering colleges started Biomedical programmes. "We are now seeing first signs of fruition," says Singh who is also a consulting professor at the School of Medicine at Stanford University. Also, entrepreneurs who were distributors of medical equipment in the 1990s are now becoming manufacturers. BITS Pilani graduate GSK Velu, 46, founded Trivitron Healthcare in 1997 after a stint at Chiron Diagnostics as country head. Despite the opportunity, entrepreneurs complain that there is no incentive by the government to locally manufacture them unlike the help given in China or Brazil. Imports from China have started dominating the imported market. "If India's policies become more favourable to local production and innovation, we can come out of the clutches of imports and become self-sufficient in the sector," Velu of Trivitron adds.

Ref: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Current Medtech Manufacturing Landscape In India

“Today, almost 75% of medical devices used in India are imported. Historically, indigenous manufacturing has focussed on the production of low-value consumables, and the sector would benefit tremendously by adequate exposure to the latest developments in medical technology. Industry thought leaders estimate that local players are three to five years behind multinationals in terms of technology, but are rapidly closing the gap in the low- to mid-tier sector of the market.

It is estimated that there are about 750 indigenous manufacturers of medical devices and more than 90% of them are small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). Due to the small size of indigenous manufacturing and its limited profitability, it is indeed a challenge for India to invest in R&D for patentable medical technologies.

In order to foster indigenous medical technology, there needs to be strong alignment of academia and industry to spur the development of an ecosystem conducive to innovation in medical technology.

If one takes a closer look at the business models emulated by multinational medical technology companies, most have opted to import their existing global products and focus mainly on affluent consumers and private hospitals in large cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Only a handful of players have local manufacturing capabilities.

Thus, there is a dormant opportunity for foreign manufacturers who want to invest in India. In a recent Price Waterhouse Coopers survey, 30% of medtech multinationals said they planned to adapt their products and business models specifically to the Indian market.

About Challenges for India's Medtech sector

“One major challenge is identifying the right product mix for the Indian market. More than 80% of the population pays for all medical expenditures out of pocket. Thus, the burden of healthcare expenditure is significant and quality is often sacrificed. Another significant challenge has been to make good quality products available at prices that Indian consumers can afford while making the activity commercially viable for the company.

There is an absence of reliable market data for efficient planning and independent data on consumption patterns and the market share of medical devices. Vital business decisions often are based on projections, industry reports and analysis, which may deter new entrants. Where other countries can define market tiers largely in geographic terms, tiers in India tend to be defined by disposable income, with all tiers existing within each region. Surgeons can work across tiers, but use different equipment and infrastructures. The second and third market tiers currently remain largely untapped.

The availability of trained healthcare professionals is another issue. Several government agencies have jurisdiction over medical devices, and because the governing body is set up for drugs, medical device standards tend to be drug-centric, inconsistently applied, and inconsistent with state regulations.” (Based on an Interview with Mr Sanjay Banerjee, Managing Director, Zimmer India by MEDTEC Europe)


Making ‘In India, For India’ Work

Interest towards “In India, for India” innovations is rising, driven by growing size of the market. Also, there are millions of un-served end-users for whom existing products seem neither relevant nor affordable.

R&D in India has undergone a major transformation. Earlier, it was dominated by Government funded and Government-run institutions that are part of networks like Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Today, the focus of R&D has shifted to more than 850 MNCs that have R&D centres in India, employing around 500,000 highly-qualified scientists and engineers. Many of these professionals have returned to India with advanced degrees and after working in the best global institutions and corporations. Initially, the contributions of these centres remained invisible as they got integrated into advanced technologies and products for world markets. Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam captured this phenomenon in their aptly titled book India Inside.

Looking at India

In last decade, there has been growing interest in these R&D centres in what are often called “In India, for India” innovation programmes. This trend has been driven by the growing size of the Indian market, and the fact that there are hundreds of millions of un-served end-users for whom existing products seem neither relevant nor affordable. It has been reinforced by a need to meet the aspirations of the Indian employees working in these centres to innovate for the local market.

So, what’s the future of “In India, for India,” particularly for those companies that are in the product domain? Last year, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble built on their earlier work with Jeff Immelt, Chief Executive Officer of General Electric (GE), to advance the idea of reverse innovation.

Ref: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/weekend-life/

Some Medical Firms Pursuing Growth In India

Biel, Switzerland-based Mikron Group - with plants in Switzerland, Germany, the U.S., Singapore and China — is now shifting its focus to two emerging markets of Asia.

“Earlier, we were focusing more on the European markets, but now focus is on India and China, as both are growing markets,” said Mikron Automation regional sales manager Harald Herrmann. “Potential is there in India, but the degree of automation is low”

Mikron manufactures high-precision assembly and testing equipment. The company is targeting India’s medical and automotive electronics sectors.

“We have already sold two lines in the India market,” added Harald, who is located in Laupheim, Germany.

Pawan Urs M. a regional sales manager for quick-disconnect maker Colder Products Co. of St. Paul, Minn., said the market there is certainly growing, but at a slow pace.

“The Indian medical-device market is growing slowly and is in a nascent stage, not comparable to China,” he said. “The high-tech medical devices are largely imported in India. We see lot of potential in this market but it still has long way to go.”

Colder Products has a plant in China and a sales office in Bangalore, India.

Joe Lui, a marketing consultant for Hong Kong-based Zeus Industrial Products Inc.,( with U.S. headquarters in Orangeburg, S.C.) agreed that it is a bit too early for some companies to establish manufacturing in India. His company, which supplies fluoropolymer medical tubing, prefers to begin through a distribution channel.

“The Indian market is growing, but we still have a very limited client base, therefore, we have a distributor in India to take care of the market,” Lui said.

Ref : http://ww5.plasticsnews.com/china/english/medical/


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