India’s Government Designates Drug and Medical Device Sectors as Priority Areas

For its 12th Five Year Plan period, the Indian government has designated pharmaceutical and medical device sectors as priority areas. In order to boost manufacturing in the two industries, a special task force has been set up to evaluate possible measures. Proposed suggestions have come from government agencies as well as the private sector, and include measures such as reducing barriers of access to capital, and establishing manufacturing clusters with government support.

Although it is not clear exactly what the final measures will be, the Planning Commission is expected to announce a final version of the plan by the end of 2012, before the 12th Five Year Plan starts in 2013. A draft version was announced by the Indian Prime Minister in August, 2011.

Once established, the 12th Five Year Plan is expected to expand India’s pharmaceutical market, currently valued at around US$15 billion and projected to grow between 10% and 15% over the next five years. The Plan will also target India’s medical device market, currently worth around US$3 billion, with growth anticipated at 12% to 16% over the next five years. India is an important destination for foreign medical devices, as imported products represent more than 70% of the total market.