The election of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India should bode well for Western medical companies. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi’s policies led to considerable economic growth and development in the province. He was elected Prime Minister in large part because he promised to do the same for India as a whole.
Healthcare will be a priority of the Modi government. Analysts expect his business friendly policies to include strengthening India’s intellectual property regime as well as reduced restrictions on foreign investment in the Indian pharmaceutical sector.
The new Health Minister plans to implement a program to distribute generic medicines in public hospitals around India free of charge. Treatment protocols will be established to prevent over-prescription. Tax incentives will also be strengthened to encourage workers to purchase health insurance, and more companies will be required to offer health insurance.
On June 9, 2014, India’s President announced the government’s goal of a universal, holistic healthcare system. The National Health Assurance Mission and new health policy will develop a scheme that is affordable, accessible and effective for all. Plans are also being made to reform health education and training in order to address India’s shortage of healthcare professionals.
While Modi has only been in office a short time, it is likely his government will support pro-industry reforms that will open up India’s healthcare market and make it a more attractive place for Western companies to sell medical devices and pharmaceutical products.