Healthcare Sector to Adopt Quality Practices and commitment to maintain high standards

Covid has completely changed the lives, globally. We are living in isolation, borders across the world had mostly been sealed, observing lockdowns.Yet, the healthcare workers and team India are working relentlessly, to provide healing touch to all across 120 countries.

Virtually happened, this 6th edition of International Conference on Pharma and Medical Device sector event, was inaugurated by Union Minister, Piyush Goyal. The medical devices industry, also known as Sunrise sector in India, has the potential to reach $ 50 bn by 2025. And, the total market size of the Indian Pharma Industry is expected to reach US $ 130 bn by 2030.  The medical devices potential has been recognised lately, though it has a current market size of $ 11 billion and 85% dependence on imports. This is an opportunity to build domestic capacity.

This webinar covers the event of international conference on India Pharma 2021 & India Medical Device 2021. Organised on virtual mode, although partially on physical mode, the report carries a gist of healthy deliberations mentioned herein below.

Remarking about Prime Minister move on Atmanirbharta, the speakers reacted, it was remarkable, in spite of challenges facing all of us. The pharmaceutical and Indian Medical device industry was very well displayed in last one year, in supplying critical drugs and medical devices without disruption, across the length and breadth of India and to more than 120 countries at the time of urgent human need. We depend on the capability and commitment of industry to stand up and be counted, when it mattered. Life is all about business. Department of pharmaceuticals is working to provide a stable long-term policy and the government needs to facilitate transformation of these sectors towards sustainable growth, and goal of affordable and universal healthcare remains at the centre of efforts. In addition to new scheme, an outlay of Rs. 15,000 crore by cabinet approval would be a game changer in transforming industry. At this juncture, we believe to enhance cooperation between industry and policy makers that will help us to achieve the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, in its truest sense of making in India and making for the world.

It was also shared, that International drug regulatory meet is also being organised, which will have participation from US, UK, European Union, Australia, Indonesia. There is a potential that the industry can go upto 80 to 90 Billion dollar, if we grow at a normal rate and with the new efforts in the pharma, we can go upto 120 and 130 Bn dollar industry. PLI schemes, Swasth Bharat mission and higher allocation to healthcare itself, would provide additional opportunity for growth. So, spending on healthcare will help us to grow investment which is important and definite policy is required to ensure sustainable growth for the industry.

Lot of opinions were also shared. One is to keep the regulatory system to go forward. The growth export incentives have gone away, but in that place a new incentive tax refund scheme must be introduced. The government should look at it to provide refund of taxes paid on our export inputs; second pharmaceutical industry faces the pollution control board quite often. Also, certain area of policy where pricing mechanism support etc., are involved, also requires rethinking and regulatory system in India requires further liberalization for approval in the pandemic times. Further, we continue to facilitate the ease of doing business in India with focus on Quality Assurance. There was also an assurance to the government, of commitment to partner in this massive universal healthcare growth and make India self-reliant in med-tech. And, to address the needs and challenges, integrated digital technology can bring the needed transparency and accountability.

We can do more: One of the speakers remarked, PM’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat  has brought into focus high dependency of medical devices including import; new schemes and development are the positive steps towards making India self-reliant in the sector; that is an opportunity, given the visibility, to continue to develop and evolve the policy and regulatory regions in the sector for world’s fastest growth and investment in the sector. We did have opportunity to attract manufacturing units for the pandemic period, but we could do more to attract retention of companies, as some investments went to Malaysia Ethiopia, Philippines and China etc.

Pandemic an opportunity

Piyush Goyal stated,  I am learning a little bit about your industry, but I personally feel – rather than fighting the world on regulations and regulatory practices, we can reach the pinnacle of the beacon to give the maximum benefit for our country. For example, good manufacturing practices are there in India. We have moved to manufacturing hub. There is a period of reform going on in the country and issue is how to bring investment. In ranking from 149 place, we have come to the 63rd place in ease of doing business.

As a nation, we have good manufacturing practices. Can we all collectively assure the betterment in terms of quality, facility and commitment to maintain high standards; in terms of meeting the regulatory requirements of the world; and make it an actual payment phenomenon in day-to-day working; then, seamless flow of products would apply to medicines, medical devices, technicians, doctors.

Quality does not come at a price, rather quality reduces our price. He further said, that regulatory & good manufacturing practices; systems and certifications; approvals, will always help us grow in scale and bring down the price. He added, it is incumbent upon all of us that if anybody is indulging in malpractices, we should become the whistleblower, as, ultimately it is damaging our business and of course, country’s reputation gets damaged; goods manufacturers, good companies and good doctors also get affected. India is well on the path to come out of the COVID pandemic and the Pharma industry is well on the path to grow out of the COVID pandemic. He said that the Pharmaceutical industry provided 3 V’s:  Ventilators ; Vaccines ; V-shaped recovery, and these three V’s are reflective of the strength in the industry.

Goyal reflected, can we look at the entire health ecosystem and provide to  world the confidence, that anything to do with health, India is a place, you should look at and India is the one stop solution for everything you require and it’s quite possible. The mind-set and culture is what we need to address. It’s criminal to cheat, but it’s equally criminal to allow somebody – as to cheat. What needs to be done, and the pattern is a pretty good documentary start. We must resolve to be showing, what we provide works best for India and rest of the world. And, this document released during conference encompassing innovation, telemedicine, also encompasses the complete value chain of your industry.

This is going to be a defining decade, both for the industry and for the country, as we move forward to truly achieve the rightful place of India in the committee of nations. He called upon Indian pharmaceutical and healthcare sector to adopt best quality practices and commitment to maintain high standards. With the turbulence of the past year comes opportunity, so convert this pandemic into an opportunity, to continue and fast track the implementations.

The conference is organised every year by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India, along with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

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