Hyderabad: Telangana, which has written its success story in the life sciences sector, is repeating it in the medical devices sector, with 25 companies signing up to set up their plants so far in what is touted to be the country’s largest medical devices park in Sultanpur.
Six manufacturing facilities will launch their operations on the same day in July next and by December, Sahajanand Medical Technologies (SM), Asia’s largest stent manufacturing facility, will commence its operations, disclosed Industries Minister K T Rama Rao here on Wednesday. Speaking on the sidelines of the BioAsia-2020 summit, Rama Rao maintained that Medical Devices Park at Sultanpur was a great deal of success with nearly 25 companies signing up. “We will continue to promote the sector by engaging with the industry”, a euphoric minister declared.
Based on feedback from the medical devices industry, the State government is planning to create common testing facilities in Sultanpur in partnership with the industry. On the lines of the Pharma Exports Promotion Council (PEPC), an exports promotion council for the medical devices industry would also be set up.
The minister said that of the 276 acres of land at Sultanpur, only 80 acres is left. The government would examine the possibilities of expanding the Medical Devices Park as more land is available adjacent to the current site. “We could even look at niche parks for any of the seven sub-segments of medical devices like instruments, surgical equipment, consumables and implants.”
He pointed out that the most important thing was to ensure that the manufacturing efforts should lower the costs of medical devices since affordability, accessibility, availability and awareness among people and government was most crucial in healthcare segment. As governments focus on healthcare, there can be more and more manufacturing happening in India as a result cost of production would come down.
The minister noted that the most important thing in the medical devices space was innovation, prototyping and manufacturing. For prototyping, T-Works which is coming up in June/July this year would be of help. A lot of these devices and implants that are used in the industry need to be prototyped. Having T-Works would add value to the overall sector. All of these falling in right places will be the largest answer.
He recalled that the government promised to be the industries’ advocate in terms of bringing regulatory and other changes in Union Government’s domain. “I have already taken up with the Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal yesterday and we will pursue it with others. For instance, there is no quality certification agency for medical devices to arrive at standards. Another issue is that medical devices and drugs are being put in the same slot. The industry wants that these should be treated separately. The companies also have concerns about inverted duty structures and GST, which is hampering their growth,” he observed.
Rama Rao said he was shocked to know that it was cheaper to import devices rather than manufacture them here, which was against the philosophy of ‘Make in India’. “I asked the industry to give me inputs so that the State government could take it up with ministries concerned”, he asserted.
Life sciences ecosystem
Within the life sciences spectrum of Telangana, there is Genome Valley where all the biotech and vaccines manufacturing is happening. One-third of the global vaccines are produced here. This cluster is the northern part of Hyderabad. In the west, Sultanpur medical devices park is shaping up well. And to the south, the Hyderabad Pharma City is coming up which will have manufacturing, research and development, education and social infrastructure (including housing). “The lifesciences ecosystem is very distributed around ORR. If we have to create more clusters, we are ready to do that.”