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PLI scheme: Medical equipment makers set for healthy growth

Indian government is witnessing an encouraging response from both domestic and foreign medical devices manufacturers to participate in the Production-linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) that aims to increase local production of the equipment in the country.

Around 21 local and foreign companies’ application for the participation in the PLI scheme to manufacture high-value medical equipment in the country have been confirmed, said Dr Jitendra Sharma, Managing Director & CEO of Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone, at the ongoing ‘BizzBuzz Business Conclave’ in the port city of Visakhapatnam.

The two-day ‘BizzBuzz Business Conclave’ being organised by The Hans Group and Bizz Buzz kick started on Friday with a theme of ‘Visakhapatnam, the City of Destiny.’ The session on pharmaceutical sector had a theme of ‘Pharma- Catching a breath- Lessons from pandemic’. “Many medical equipment manufacturers have shown interest in the PLI scheme. We have confirmed the applications of 21 companies. This includes both global MNCs and domestic companies. We are confident of that several types of medical equipment will get manufactured from India soon,” said Dr Sharma.

He said that the focus is on segments like radiological equipment that can be made locally. Also, the premier body is encouraging the use of light materials which are most stable for using them in making various products. In 2021, the central government had announced the Rs15,000 crore PLI scheme for the pharmaceutical sector that included both drug & API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) manufacturing along with medical devices manufacturing among others. Companies like Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Aurobindo Pharma, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Lupin, Mylan Laboratories, Cipla and Cadila Healthcare, had qualified for incentives under the PLI scheme.

India faced the acute need for making itself self-reliant in the drug manufacturing and medical equipment space during the Covid pandemic period. While the country faced a lot of delay in importing of many critical medical devices, the pharmaceutical companies became hostage to the supply of APIs from China for maintaining the flow of life saving drugs. Against this backdrop, India is encouraging creation of total production ecosystem inside the country. To encourage industry-academia interface, the MedTech zone is also currently working with more than 80 academic institutions including Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. It is also encouraging participation of startups in creation of this ecosystem.

“We have incubators, such as Biovalley and Medivalley. In these incubators, we work with around 100 startups. Any startup can come to us from any part of the country and we will help those companies. Every month, we do a national call for innovation in which we can support startups to turn an idea to product,” said Sharma. The Hans India

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