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Inspired by Andhra, states in race to set up medical device parks

Close to a dozen state governments are planning to develop medical device parks after Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone, an integrated medical device manufacturing ecosystem set up by the state government in Vizag three years ago, proved to be a major success during Covid.

APMZ has seen 85 factories coming up in 100 acres of land earmarked for development under the first phase in the last two years. Leading Indian medical device manufacturers, including Trivitron Healthcare and Transasia Bio-Medicals Ltd., are among companies that have set up manufacturing units in the park. Land allotment under the second phase has begun.

“Several states want to replicate this model and have sought industry participation in their proposed medical device park projects,” says Rajeev Nath, forum coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED).

Of the 50 medical devices critical for Covid-19 care, many are mostly produced in APMZ. According to an APMZ executive, companies within the medical device zone have been supplying bulk of the Covid-19 diagnostic kits for the Indian market. In addition to ventilators and surgical masks, the park will also see the roll-out of India’s first locally produced MRI machines in the coming months.

APMZ provides infrastructure for med-tech innovation and rapid prototyping facility. It also has a centre for X-Ray tube and CT-Scan tube manufacturing, centres for biomaterial testing and electromagnetic compatibility and safety testing. These allow domestic manufacturers to avail world-class testing and certification services at nominal rates.

Incidentally, the increasing interest in such projects also saw 16 states, including Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, among others, vying for the four medical device parks announced by the Central government under its scheme for promotion of medical device parks last year. Under the scheme, the Centre will provide grant-in-aid to four medical device parks with a maximum limit of ₹100 crore per park, or 70% of the project cost of common infrastructure facilities, whichever is less. In case of hilly states and the North-East, the grant-in-aid would be ₹100 Crore per park, or 90% of the project cost of common infrastructure facilities, whichever is less. The ₹400-crore scheme is for the 2020-21 to 2024-25 period. Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are known to have won the race for setting up four parks.

“The ₹1.1-lakh-crore domestic medical device market has the potential to become a $50-billion market by 2025 if governments provide some fundamental policy support. The tariff policy should be predictable, medical devices rules should be separate from that of drug laws, public procurement priorities should be streamlined and unethical marketing practices should be curbed,” says Nath.

States should develop medical device parks with specific focus instead of providing facilities to manufacture the same type of products and compete with each other, he adds. Fortune India