Task force recommends separate price control order for medical devices


New Delhi: At a time when the government is looking at giving a boost to the medical devices sector, a task force has recommended a separate price control order for it.

The task force, under the chairmanship of the secretary, department of pharmaceuticals (DoP), has also suggested that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) should be empowered for fixing and monitoring of prices under a separate vertical. Currently, medical devices come under the definition of drugs, under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The task force added that medical devices may be included as a separate entity from drugs in the Essential Commodities Act and regulated under a separate Medical Devices (Prices Control) Order (MDPCO).

The task force was mandated to come up with recommendations to boost the medical device manufacturing sector in India through the “Make in India” campaign. India is one of the top 20 markets for medical devices in the world and is the fourth-largest market in Asia after Japan, China and South Korea. The domestic medical devices market is estimated at $6.8 billion and India also exports medical devices worth nearly $1 billion.

During the period 2011-12 to 2014-15, both import and export of medical devices grew at more than 10%. Import as well as export of medical electronics and hospital equipment has been the highest among all the devices in terms of value. Along with surgical instruments, they form more than 50% of total sales with the majority being imported (87.4%).

The task force also suggested minimum or zero duty on the import of raw materials and manufacturing equipment for the production of medical devices.