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Centre Moots National Medical Device Authority

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 The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has proposed a new autonomous body to promote indigenous production of medical devices. The “National Medical Device Authority (NMDA)” will provide a single window mechanism to the medical device industry and help set up new medical device manufacturing parks in the country.  
 
The idea has been mooted in a draft National Medical Device Policy – 2015 that is being circulated for stake holder consultations. The formulation of a policy was one of the key recommendations made by an expert task force constituted to look into the medical device sector. The task force report was released by Chemcials and Fertilizers minister Anant Kumar on April 2015.
The Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED) has welcomed the move. “It will add to the make in India initiative”, says Rajiv Nath, coordinator, AIMED.  
 
The NMDA is expected to set benchmarks as per international best practices and develop knowledge networks with partners from the industry. It will also advise the government on the incentives given to Greenfield and brown field projects in the medical devices field.
 
The draft policy also calls for a price control mechanism for medical devices to make it affordable. A separate policy, similar to Drugs Price Control Order under the Essential Commodities Act is being suggested. The creation of a separate division within the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to handle the price related issues of medical devices has also been proposed.
 
The policy also talks about the establishment of testing centres for medical devices across the country. Designating existing centres as “centres of excellence” for supporting product development and validation is also being planned.
 
The department has sought stakeholder suggestions on the draft policy by July 15.


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