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Govt To Set Up Export Promotion Council For Medical Devices

The export council will help exporters in promoting their products in international markets, through various promotional activities including organising and participating in international trade fairs, buyer-seller meets

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The government has notified for setting up of an Export Promotion Council dedicated to medical devices on Wednesday, the Department of Commerce (DoC) and Ministry of Commerce and Industry have directed that a separate EPC for the medical devices sector may be created under the administrative control of the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

The export council will help exporters in promoting their products in international markets, through various promotional activities including organising and participating in international trade fairs, and buyer-seller meets. The Council may also organise awareness programs for the dissemination of information regarding assistance available for the MSME exporters under various government schemes.

“The entire range of medical devices goods and services could be broadly qualified into sub-groups called panels, such as disposables, consumables, orthopaedic implants, IVD Equipment and Reagents and surgical instruments. Further, to coordinate the activities of the Council in a more focused manner, there could also be panels like Policy advocacy, technology upgradation and transfer and start-ups,” the written order said. 

The EPC will be established with its Headquarters at YEIDA (Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority), Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh and regional offices in Andhra Pradesh ( AMTZ, Visakhapatnam) and Telangana (Hyderabad), the notification said.

“It's great news, a big boost to Indian Medical Devices Manufacturing. The long sought and requested Medical Devices Exports Promotion Council is finally sanctioned to be created under the aegis of DoP, Govt. of India. This strategic step will go a long way in accelerating the exports and manufacturing growth of the medical devices sector. India currently exports Rs. 23,766 Cr (2021-22) of medical devices up from previous year Rs.19,736 Cr,” said Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator of Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD).

The Ministry has directed YEIDA to provide, among other things, initial funding support of 3 crore and free office space at the upcoming Medical Devices Park Common Facility Centre (CFC), Greater Noida, and also provide required secretarial staff to run the Council.

The ministry has also directed YEIDA to provide suitable office space in their current office building until the completion of construction of the CFC. “Kalam Institute of Health Technology at AMTZ (Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone) to provide two technical scientific resources on free of cost basis for the technical work of the Council,” the Commerce Ministry said.

“The Exports Promotion Council for Medical Devices will help bring in coordinated inter-ministerial policy measures for unleashing the huge export potential and investment potential of over Rs. 80,000 Cr for manufacturing medical devices for the Global market in India’s quest to be one of the Top 5 preferred supplier base of medical devices worldwide and we are thankful to the Minister of Commerce and Industry in taking this initiative to help realise our Prime Minister’s vision,” stated Mr Nath.

The Ministry has also given a timeline to open regional offices at AMTZ, Visakhapatnam which should be set up within one year, while office at Hyderabad shall be set up in a period of three years, the AMTZ and Telangana governments have been directed to provide free of cost office spaces, manpower and appropriate funding for the setting up of the offices.

The Ministry has laid down the functions and administration of the council, the administration of the council will be handed to a Committee of Administration which will exercise its functions as per the extant guidelines given by the Department of Commerce.

"We should remember that despite the government’s other related initiatives such as PLI schemes and the provision for medical device parks with an eye on shoring up domestic manufacturing, imports of medical devices have continued to rise in the recent past," stated Ashok Patel, Founder, CEO, Max Ventilators. 

Therefore, it was time that additional steps were taken. We are hopeful that just like what the Pharmaceutical Promotion Export Council or Pharmexil achieved for pharma exports, this separate EPC would do the same for medical devices in the country, Patel added.