As India geared up to fight the COVID-19 crisis, huge efforts were put into increase medical device manufacturing capacity by AiMeD through its members and beyond by reaching out to garment manufacturers, automakers, auto component manufacturers and electronic component manufacturers as a preparedness for possible unprecedented, unpredictable demands.
The government interventions under the able leadership of Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba and DOP Secretary, P D Vaghela helped the medical devices industry scale up production during the pandemic.
AiMeD provided the government a single point of contact access to domestic manufacturers and provided the manufacturers various services like advocacy on policy issues, information services, regulations for medical devices, education and training services, testing assistance, guidance for Quality Certification (ISO, CE, ICMED QMS), and lobbying for funding for R&D,. The association organised meetings, seminars, symposia, exhibitions and demos to promote the Make in India initiative.
The Government of India through its flagship “Make in India” initiative relied heavily on the Indian manufacturers to meet the rising demand of essential healthcare equipment’s for the country, pushing the Indian medical devices sector to become self-reliant especially for the essential 39 COVID medical devices. AiMeD worked with QCI to expedite finalization of ICMED Plus Certification as well as with Consultants Consortium to provide online training on Quality Management System Certification to new entrepreneurs from other industries who had ventured into medical devices manufacturing to build capacity & capabilities to meet QCIs ICMED Certification and Regulatory Compliance so that they could have confidence to seek Global Certification of CE and US FDA Compliance for enabling Global Competitiveness. 4 batches of over 115 manufacturers were intensely trained over 7 modules over 11 sessions spread over 2 weeks in April and May 2020.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, there were only 20 firms manufacturing 62 lakh PPE kits per year, but within two-three months, the number of manufacturers listed with AiMeD increased to 140 with 25.55 crore annual capacity.
Ona similar note, the number of Indian firms manufacturing, ventilator manufacturers went up from 8 to 17, mask manufacturers from 30 to 108, swab manufacturers from zero to five and sanitizer manufacturers from 35 to 49 and RT PCR kits from 0 to 8.
Comparison of the growth rate before & after COVID-19
“COVID-19 crisis has shown that Indian medical devices sector can rise to the challenge. When imports got disrupted, specific devices detailed with quantified production shortages and a focused Inter-Ministry Group coordinating with domestic manufacturers via AiMeD had addressed production bottlenecks and challenges so that not only capacity got utilized but also ramped up rapidly,” said Rajiv Nath. – MB Bureau