Medical equipment, technology will get 40 % cheaper in India

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Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone launches a unique start-up program under its medical technological enterprises to save money and cut down cost on equipment imports

 

By Manzoor-ul-Hassan

The Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone (AMTZ) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) on Monday launched ‘CII AMTZ Startup Day’ at Kalam Convention Center at AMTZ Campus in Visakhapatnam. The program is aimed at supporting innovators and businessmen to produce good quality medical equipment and technology in India.

According to officials, the new initiative is first of its kind in the country and will cut down the costs of medical equipment and related devices up to 40 percent.

They said around 240 companies will manufacture medical equipment at the Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone (AMTZ), generating 25,000 jobs, after its completion.

Top scientists and officials of Government of India and Government of Andhra Pradesh attended the inaugural function.

Dr Renu Swaroop, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, was Chief Guest at the occasion and shared her thoughts.

Last year, the first phase of the AMTZ was inaugurated by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at Pedagantyada.

The AMTZ, in 270 acres in two phases, will be a hub for manufacturing medical devices in the country. The first phase has been completed at a  cost of Rs 450 crore and the second phase will be completed at a cost of Rs 110 crore.

“Our focus will be on critical research and making of quality equipment locally. The new medical technologies will drastically bring down medical costs and prove beneficial for our country which is spending hugely on the import of medical equipment,” Managing Director of the AMTZ, Dr Jitendra Sharma told Healthwire after inaugurating ‘CII AMTZ start-up day’.

Dr Sharma, who is also the Executive Director at Kalam Institute of Health Technology, said the program will support and sponsor students, innovators and businessmen in research and development of market-ready products.

According to him, the program was conceived because India is an import dependent market in terms of medical devices technology to the extent of over 75 per cent.

“It will be a great success even if we run it for our country only because India is one of the top 20 global medical device markets and the fourth largest medical device market in Asia. The country’s medical device market has grown from 2 billion dollars in 2009 to 6 billion dollars in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 percent and is estimated to grow up to 10 billion dollars by 2020,” he said.

Dr Sharma believes that AMTZ initiative will make India self-sufficient and in fact an exporter of good quality and cost-effective medical technology.

A mentor advisor to AMTZ in North India, Nigam Gupta said the zone is having 18 new testing laboratories by Government of India which is a highest number in the world followed by China (11) and USA (7).

“It will help develop good quality and high-end equipment including CT scan (India’s first and world’s fifth), MRI (India’s first and world’s third), Linear Escalator (India’s first and world’s second), other life saving and allied technologies on 40 percent less cost,” he said.

“AMTZ can be first choice for innovators where ideas can be made converted into products with all Needed Assistance followed by arrangement of meeting tie ups with probable investors,” Gupta said.

According to him, about 80 industrial firms have established their units in near 14,00,000 sq ft area and 240 companies will manufacture medical equipment at the Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone (AMTZ) which will generate 25,000 jobs within next few months.

He said the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N Chandra Babu Naidu had already allotted near 300 acres land free of cost to AMTZ within first three hours of listening the idea.

“This is a big step to cut medical expenses for common man. As above 70 per cent of equipment are imported from abroad, around $35,000 crore each year in India on almost more than double to costs of AMTZ products. And this single zone is now sounding as if a reasonable India’s reply to China, USA and German monopoly in the medical equipment sector,” the AMTZ mentor said.

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