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Medical Device Industry Can Reach $50 Billion Size By 2030 with PLI Scheme & Ban on Used Equipment Import: Report  

Written by : Trishti Pariwal

August 8, 2023

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By 2030, the Indian medical device market can grow from $12 billion to $50 billion, lowering its reliance on imports to 35% and increasing exports from $3.4 billion to $18 billion. Due to India's growing health sector, the industry's development potential could outpace that of the smartphone market. 

The medical device industry can reach the size of $50 billion by 2030 provided there is a ban on the import of used equipment along with introduction of performance-linked incentive scheme for value added production, said a report by think tank GTRI.   

"The Indian medical devices industry can expand from USD 12 billion to USD 50 billion by 2030, reducing import reliance to 35 per cent and boosting exports to USD 18 billion from USD 3.4 billion at present. The industry's growth potential could surpass that of the smartphone sector due to India's expanding health sector, projected to reach USD 600 billion by 2030," GTRI cofounder Ajay Srivastava said. 

Global import taxes on medical products can differ, for example, 

  • Brazil (14%) 
  • Russia (0-15%) 
  • India (0-7.5%) 
  • China (3.3-17%) 

Additionally, the report said that China and industrialised nations do not let the import of secondhand goods. Old MRI, ultrasound, X-ray, and mammography equipment may give inaccurate prognoses. As per the report, several old medical equipment releases harmful contaminants such as depleted Uranium. For high import-intensive products including diagnostic reagent kits, surgical tools, and other medical gadgets, it requested a Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) plus plan.  

To effectively compete with imports for essential goods, the government needs to make sure that Indian manufacturers can produce the essential medical equipment. For example'“ masks, oximeters, syringes, thermometers, examination gloves, and blood collection tubes. Support from the government is required to check dumping, domestic production, and cut imports. Except for cutting-edge high-tech devices, India is home to 1,200 local businesses and multinational organisations that produce a wide range of products. 

However, India's annual need for medical equipment is approximately $11.8 billion (about $36 per person in the US) of which $7.6 billion (about $23 per person in the US) is covered by imports. It is suggested that technology-based medical devices should be manufactured by domestic industries which are of high quality at affordable prices. The foreign-made equipment should be removed gradually from big private hospitals in India. To directly target the global market, a trained sales force must be there with sufficient data.  

Further, high-end devices including CT scans, MRIs, cobalt-based radiotherapy units, and linear accelerators are needed for the detection and treatment of numerous diseases, including cancer, which can be fatal. 

"With only a few manufacturers across the world for radiotherapy machines, there is an urgent need for indigenous production of these machines," said Richa Chauhan, Senior consultant (Oncologist), Mahavir Cancer Sansthan. 


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