Budget 2019: MedTech associations gives thumbs-up to Ayushman Bharat scheme

Quality medical technologies and diagnostics are a critical component of a well-functioning healthcare delivery system. The need of the hour is to better recognize the role of medical devices towards ensuring on-ground success of the Ayushman Bharat scheme. AdvaMed and its member companies congratulate the government for treating close to 10 lakh patients under this scheme, that reflect the ongoing success of the scheme. We are encouraged to see healthcare at the forefront of policy making and are hopeful that medical device sector will receive its rightful place in the overall healthcare continuum. Government’s announcement of the 22nd AIIMS during the Interim Budget 2019 is a testimony to that.

AdvaMed is aligned with the Government’s larger goal of ensuring access to affordable and quality healthcare, while building an environment that is ‘innovation friendly, predictable and sustainable’. Having said that, while Minister Goyal acknowledges that price capping of medical devices had reduced costs, we like to point out, price control goes against patient interest by failing to reward innovative technologies thereby limiting patient choice for current and future medical device innovations. It is critical to look at the quality of healthcare available to patients in India. In this context, we hope that the government looks at policies that will promote the environment for quality innovation for this technology-driven sector. We continue to urge the government to opt for a more scientific approach such as trade margin rationalization from the first point of sale (i.e. sale to distributor) to address inefficiencies in the healthcare delivery system that burdens patients. In addition, as part of this patient centric approach, AdvaMed renews its call for globally harmonised regulations to ensure best in-patient safety and product performance which will bring in transparency and encourage innovation.

We would like to re-iterate that medical devices and pharmaceuticals are vastly different in their development, evolution, manufacture, method of delivery and impact on patients. Hence, there is a need for a separate regulatory framework for medical devices.”

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