Business World: Fix The Missing Link

Dinar Kale

Dinar Kale analyses the medical device industry and it neglect by policy-makers and industry associations for Business World.

The medical device industry forms an important pillar of healthcare supply industries. It plays a central role in patient care, starting with diagnosis, treatment, in the OT, at the bed side, post-surgery and, in some cases, even after discharge. The medical device industry in India stands neglected by policy-makers, regulators and industry associations. This has serious implications for the development of a safe and effective healthcare system for the people. The absence of regulation also delays the entry of authentic local manufacturers into the market, since norms, approvals and guidelines are all a blur.  This regulatory vacuum has created a market that is dominated by MNCs on one end and some counterfeit manufacturers on the other. The latter  sell cheap by using raw materials of sub-standard quality and circumventing safety norms. Hospitals driven by profits alone prefer the cheaper alternatives, which has serious implications for patients’ health, as seen from the three wrong surgeries carried out on the right arm of Sunetra Govil. In her case, the bone plates were fake, and incorrectly used. One may even question the awareness of attending doctors, since a fundamental bone density test was not carried out on the patient.  


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