India producing medical devices at 1/3rd world price : Dr Jitendra Singh

Thiruvananthapuram : Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Jitendra Singh today said, India is among the top five countries in the world manufacturing life-saving high risk medical devices but the cost of our devices is about one-third of those manufactured by the other four countries.

Addressing the faculty and students after inaugurating Combined Devices Block at Chitra Triunal Institute of Medical Science and Technology here, Dr Jitendra Singh said, technologies developed by the Institute like the artificial heart valve, hydrocephalus shunt, oxygenator and drug eluting intra uterine device are being manufactured in three to four countries like USA, Japan, Brazil and China.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the world class medical devices made indigenously are available to Indian patients at approximately one fourth to one third price of their imported counterparts. He underlined that this reflects the Atmanirbhar vision of PM Modi to become self-reliant in medical devices as well as medical management.

Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that it was Prime Minister Modi, who notified Medical Devices Rules in 2017 in conformity with Global Harmonisation Task Force (GHTF) framework and conform to best international practices.

The new Rules seek to remove regulatory bottlenecks to make in India, facilitate ease of doing business while ensuring availability of better medical devices for patient care and safety.Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Combined Devices Block at Chitra Institute is a perfect example of convergence of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and this must be institutionalised.

He said, the Institute is also a model of Medicines and Bio-Medicines, which is now being emulated by IITs and other prominent medical institutes.Dr Jitendra Singh noted with pride that Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, is a prominent institution under Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

This is the only Institute which brings biomedical research and development, high quality clinical care, public health studies and interventions as well as human resource development under a single institutional framework.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that this Institute has been focusing on the development of medical device technologies which are at par with any product available internationally, with respect to their quality and functional efficacy, at the same time ensuring that these products are made available to the Indian patients at an affordable cost.

He said, various products like heart valve, oxygenators, blood bag, hydrocephalus shunt, orthopaedic and dental materials etc. have ensured that these are available to Indian patients at cost effective and affordable prices.

The Minister also lauded the Institute for its pivotal role of bridging its research with the societal needs, especially looking at the needs of the under-privileged.Dwelling on the synergy concept and Integrated Approach of Modi, Dr Jitendra Singh said, most of the technologies developed at Chitra Institute are transferred to private commercial enterprises and have been sustaining in the market for decades.

Many projects for product development are fully funded by industrial establishments and both these are excellent examples of creating an environment for enhanced private participation in research and development, the Minister added.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, R&D for Ease of Living can become successful, only if the private industry becomes an equal stakeholder and invests in the project from the beginning. He said, this is also true for sustainable StartUps to have equal stake by both Public and Private sectors.

He gave the example of Technology Development Board of DST and Bharat Biotech to form a ₹400 Crores Corpus Fund with equal contribution by both to support Startups in vaccine manufacturing and other medical ventures. The Minister pointed out that DNA vaccine produced by Department of Biotechnology was later used effectively by private sector and this is the essence of Integrated Approach.

Dr Jitendra Singh informed the medical fraternity that only yesterday, the Finland Minister of Education and Culture, Petri Honkonen, who called on him was full of praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi for management of Covid pandemic and also the efforts of the Union Government of India in ensuring development of vaccines and vaccination for all the countrymen.

The Finnish Minister said, while his country with 5 Million people fought the pandemic, India with 130 Crore people showed the way to the World in its fight against COVID-19 and also helped many countries particularly the neighbours with vaccines.

Dr Jitendra Singh said the Pandemic has taught us the virtues of holistic healthcare and even after the pandemic has passed, it will be in the interest of mankind and ailing humanity to institutionalise integrated medicinal approach for adequate treatment and prevention of various diseases.

He said,during the COVID even the West started looking up to India in search of immunity building techniques drawn from Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Unani, Yoga, Naturopathy and other oriental alternatives.

Dr Jitendra Singh was happy to note that the Institute is in the process of setting up a medical device park, MedSpark, as a joint initiative with the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, Government of Kerala.

He said, new initiatives in the combination devices will definitely help the Institute to take up a more significant role in supporting the Indian Medical Device Industry for strengthening its indigenous capability.

Director of the Chitra Triunal Institute of Medical Science and Technology, Dr Sanjay Bihari said that the Institute has ensured that all testing activities related to medical devices are accredited to an international agency, COFRAC, from France.

This helps to build the confidence of the clinical community for using the products. This has also helped many Indian medical device manufacturers to get their products certified from national and international regulators like the Drugs Controller General in India, CE marking, the Food and Drugs administration in USA and Therapeutics Goods Administration in Australia.

Dr V. K Saraswat, Member, Health Niti Aayog, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram and several noted Doctors and medical professionals joined the inaugural event.

 

 

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