Domestic medical device makers accuse the govt of favouring MNCs

Indian medical device manufacturers have accused the government of favoring foreign multinational medical technology companies by imposing restrictive conditions in procurement tenders. Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD), a representative body of domestic medical device makers alleges that tenders lately floated by over 20 public institutions -- state medical corporations and hospitals -- which have stipulated discriminatory restrictive clauses for supply of wide-ranging devices like pacemakers, cardiac, laparoscopy and neuro instruments, intravenous therapeutic consumables, ventilators and even hospital beds are discriminative.

These institutions include S N Medical College (Agra), Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (Lucknow), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Rishikesh) and Base Hospital (Delhi).

"In a very current case, one of the largest government hospitals in the Prime Minister's home state, U N Mehta Institute of Cardiology & Research Centre, Gujarat has a tender for supply of life-saving cardiac stents that stipulates the product should be certified by all three regulatory agencies - US Food and Drug Administration, European Medical Device Directives (CE marked) and India's drug controller general. The tender closed on October 3. By making these conditions required the tender efficiently debars Indian manufacturers to even bid for the tender", the AiMeD points out.

"It's unfortunate when government-owned-and-financed hospitals discriminate against Indian manufacturers, instead of giving a preference to them. This is also in complete violation of the recent public purchase order by DIPP, and a circular from ministry of health, with tenders issued by public healthcare facilities run by Defence, AIIMS and even state governments (U N Mehta Hospital, Gujarat) continuing to specify compliance to both USFDA and CE certification. It's ironical that to access our own market, we requirement to seek third-country regulatory approvals or certifications. The government should not finance such discriminatory tenders." Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, AiMeD says.

"Government being the biggest buyer can accelerate domestic manufacturing and can adapt the Preferential Purchase Policy of DIPP with additionally considering Preferential Pricing (as per World Bank Terms) for Indian Medical Device for Indian Public Healthcare Tenders and considering the requirement to inspire quality and safety provide weightage of 5 per cent for ICMED Certification, 2 per cent for ISO 13485 Certification and similarly 3 per cent for Design India Certification for promoting indigenous product development." said Nath.


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