U.S.-India Business Council Concludes Medical Device Mission to India Led by Boston Scientific
Talks focused on the implications of price controls to medical device investment and other drivers of encouraging Make In India

U.S.-India Business Council Concludes Medical Device Mission to India Led by Boston Scientific, talks focused on the implications of price controls to medical device investment and other drivers of encouraging Make In India NEW DELHI – August 12, 2016 – The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) concluded its Medical Device Trade Mission to New Delhi on 12 August 2016. The delegation, led by Maulik Nanavanty, Senior Vice President and President for Neuromodulation at Boston Scientific, comprised of representatives from Boston Scientific, Abbott, Medtronic, Johnson and Johnson, and other U.S.-based companies.

The delegation expressed its commitment to working with the Indian government to create the proper ecosystem to incentivize investment in the medical technology sector (MedTech) and ensure better health outcomes across the country. The delegation also highlighted short-term policy measures required to unlock the industry's potential including the creation of a strong and independent MedTech regulatory body and adoption of internationally harmonized standards (e.g. labeling requirements) in close coordination between all stakeholders including Indian clinicians, regulators, industry bodies, and multinational companies. Longer-term recommendations centered on expansion of health care coverage in India and tax incentives to promote manufacturing.

The delegation also noted in its meetings that the recent notification of including coronary stents in the National List of Essential Medicine (NLEM) would not address the problem of patient access and affordability alone, but that the MedTech industry looked forward to developing a solution that addressed the problem of access and affordability with the growth of the industry. In a recent IMS Health study, it was revealed that the price of stents is not the highest contributor to the overall angioplasty cost. According to the study, only 20-25% of the total cost was due to the price of the stent. Furthermore, the study found that while stent prices have declined by 6-10% over the past four years in private hospitals, the actual procedure cost for patients have increased by 2-7%. Therefore, improving access to stents requires a comprehensive approach to healthcare across the entire value chain and not by making them essential or capping prices.

The delegation also shared with the Government that while this decision is not likely to reduce the overall cost of healthcare for patients, it will impact innovation, the availability of new technology, and have the unintended effect of causing uncertainty for medical device investors. Given the unmet medical need in India, there are grand possibilities for greater Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India in the medical device sector. USIBC communicated that a stable and predictable market environment is essential for those companies that are looking to put further investments in R&D, manufacturing, and other services related to growing the medical device industry in India. The delegation's meetings with the Government of India included Ministry of Health, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of External Affairs, and others.

“We were pleased to engage in productive discussions over the past few days with the Government of India. It is clear that the Government wants to attract MedTech investment, and we look forward to working with them to develop a viable roadmap towards that goal. While mandates like price controls are likely to hamper investment, industry is poised to provide other win-win solutions to grow the sector while also providing for patient affordability. The time is now for public-private collaboration to fulfill India’s potential in this space,” said Nanavaty. “Our medical device members are excited about the opportunities in India and look forward to continuing to work with the Indian government on investment incentives and improved health outcomes,” said Amy Hariani, Director and Legal Policy Council at the U.S.-India Business Council. “Unfortunately, as a recent IMS Study indicated, the recent price control order on stents is not likely to reduce the cost to the patient. We had productive discussions with the Government on a holistic approach with all stakeholders.” USIBC is pleased to support a path forward and has encouraged the adoption of many of the recommendations in a recent BCG study. For example, a high priority for our members continues to be the passage of legislation that would provide specific regulations for medical devices, which are currently treated as pharmaceuticals under India’s Drug & Cosmetics Act.

About U.S.-India Business Council: Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council is the premier business advocacy organization, comprised of 400 top-tier U.S. and Indian companies advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi.

Contact: Amy Hariani at ahariani@usibc.com

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