BENGALURU: Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister H.N. Ananth Kumar has said the NDA government’s newly-launched Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme, also known as ‘Namocare’, has the potential to turn India into the largest pharma manufacturer of the world in three years.
After inaugurating the third edition of India Pharma 2018 and India Medical Device 2018, a three-day event that brings together stakeholders in pharma and medical device sectors across the country here on Thursday, the Minister said, "Ayushman Bharat will fundamentally change Indian healthcare. It is laying down an ambitious framework for universal health coverage. The Government will start rolling out the scheme in two months."
The minister said the Union government is drafting a new pharma policy so as to make necessary changes to implement the health insurance scheme. The minister also said that the country needed a new ministry of Pharma and Medical Devices, as various parts of the industry currently were under the ambit of different ministries. The minister also launched the E-auction portal and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for Medical Device Manufacturers at the event.
Conceptualised and developed by Kalam Institute of Health Technology (KIHT), the portal shall pool in medical technologies developed in research labs funded by the government to auction them to the Industry, thereby bridging the gap between industry and academia.
The ERP, which was launched free of cost for medical device manufacturers, has been jointly developed by Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone (AMTZ) and Lotus Wireless and shall help medical device manufacturers reduce internal overhead costs by over 30 per cent.
Industry experts from both pharma and medical device sectors discussed key issues including price capping and medical device regulation.
Regarding the recent price capping by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, Probir Das, Managing Director, Terumo India, who is also the Chair, FICCI Medical Device Forum, said, "There has to be affordability, but not through the merit of a low-cost device. Price capping in its current form is not the answer. We have to align different elements of strategic interaction." Sunil Khurana, CEO and MD, BPL Medical Technologies, welcomed the Government's 'Make In India' initiative and said, "We have to take the whole world as a global market and hence have to be on par with the global standards.”