India’s MEDITECH STACKATHON 2024: Pioneering Change in the Global MedTech Landscape

Government and Industry must collaborate to reduce import dependence in the Meditech sector from 75% to 50% in five years.

0 6,209

In an ambitious move to catalyze significant advancements in the Indian MedTech industry, the Secretary of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Dr. Arunish Chawla, unveiled the MEDITECH STACKATHON 2024. This pioneering initiative, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi, seeks to reshape India’s medical technology landscape by engaging industry leaders in a comprehensive analysis of medical devices’ value chains.

Dr. Chawla’s announcement comes at a pivotal time for the industry, which boasts an impressive projected growth rate of 28% annually and is expected to swell to a $50 billion market by 2030. Despite being the fourth largest market for medical devices in Asia and ranking among the top 20 globally, India’s medical technology sector faces considerable challenges, primarily its heavy reliance on imports, which stood at over $4 billion for the fiscal year 2022-23.

Strategic Vision and Collaborative Efforts

The MEDITECH STACKATHON 2024 aims to directly address these challenges by fostering collaboration among government policymakers, industry captains, and other key stakeholders. This collaborative effort is designed to brainstorm strategic approaches to value chain mapping for selected medical devices. The initiative not only targets reducing import dependency but also enhances domestic manufacturing capabilities, thus steering India toward becoming a global hub in MedTech innovations.

Addressing the launch event, Dr. Chawla emphasized the necessity of a united approach to crafting a resilient policy framework that supports the growth of the medical devices industry. He noted significant progress, such as the increase in exports of consumables and disposables, which have recently surpassed imports. However, he stressed the importance of maintaining momentum across all sectors of the MedTech industry.

Focus on Quality and Regulatory Frameworks

The commitment to enhancing quality to make Indian products globally competitive was a focal point of Dr. Chawla’s address. By focusing on quality, India aims to position itself as a formidable player on the international stage, capable of competing with leading MedTech-producing countries. The Secretary highlighted that improving the regulatory environment and addressing technological gaps are crucial for achieving these goals.

Operational Goals of the Stackathon

Participants in the STACKATHON will engage in detailed discussions across eight focused groups, including areas like Cancer Therapy, Imaging, Critical Care, and Assistive Medical Devices, among others. Each group will delve into segment-specific challenges, assess import-export dynamics, and examine regulatory and duty structures affecting the MedTech sector. This comprehensive approach ensures a thorough understanding of the market forces and regulatory barriers currently shaping the industry.

Economic and Policy Implications

The economic implications of these deliberations are vast. By aiming to reduce import dependency from 75% to 50% within five years and improving the import coverage ratio to 1.0, the government sets a clear benchmark for progress. As Mr. R P Singh, Joint Secretary of the Department, articulated, this strategic shift is not just about economic metrics but about transitioning towards a value-based, innovation-driven industry.

Significant contributions also come from industry leaders like Mr. Himanshu Baid, Chairman of the CII National Medical Technology Forum. Baid underscored the need for enhanced data mechanisms to understand better the gaps in product consumption and production within India. His vision for the MedTech landscape includes capturing a 10% global market share over the next decade, supported by a robust ecosystem of hospitals, skilled professionals, and advanced technology.

Looking Ahead

The MEDITECH STACKATHON 2024 sets a precedent for future policy frameworks in the medical technology sector. With a clear-eyed focus on collaboration, quality improvement, and regulatory enhancements, the initiative represents a critical step toward realizing India’s potential as a leader in the global MedTech arena. By aligning stakeholder interests and leveraging India’s existing capabilities, the STACKATHON promises to transform the MedTech sector and make healthcare more accessible and affordable, ultimately benefiting millions in India and worldwide.