U.S.-India Business Council calls for 'innovation' in medical devices

The U.S.-India Business Council wrapped up a medical device trade mission to the subcontinent just before Christmas and said the sector in India must develop an "innovate in India" mindset to go along with the country's efforts to draw in manufacturers under its "Make in India" trade development campaign.

The group said the Indian government needed to focus on research and development to produce "fit-for-market" products and said the country also needed to create "a strong and independent MedTech regulatory body" and adopt "harmonized standards" for things such as labeling requirements. The group recommended that, in the long term, the country work on expanding healthcare coverage for the nation's people as well as developing tax incentives to promote medical device manufacturing.

Colm Foley, who represented Boston Consulting Group during the trade mission, said in a report by The Economic Times that "MedTech is an attractive industry for India, one in which India can leverage its competitive advantages to build a unique position the ecosystem. We see great opportunities for 'win-win' collaboration via private-public partnerships between the Indian government, Indian researchers, Indian clinicians, and U.S.-based MNCs. R&D is one place where all parties are incentivized to work together and we believe a focus on innovation in India can help drive 'Make in India.'"

The council's delegation also said a "high priority" for the group is legislation that would "provide specific regulations for medical devices, which are currently treated as pharmaceuticals under India's Drug & Cosmetics Act."

In addition to the Boston Consulting Group, other members of the delegation included representatives from Boston Scientific ($BSX), Abbott ($ABT), Medtronic ($MDT), Johnson and Johnson ($JNJ), Varian Medical, GE Healthcare ($GE), Underwriters Laboratory and other U.S.-based companies.

- here's the report from The Economic Times