Indian e-health sector projected to grow by 13x to $16 bn by 2025: Report

Source: Business Standard, Feb 05, 2019

Bengaluru: The Indian e-health sector is expected to become a $16 billion opportunity by FY 2025, growing from $1.2 billion, at a compound annual growth rate of 68 per cent, according to a report by research firm RedSeer Consulting.

This growth will be driven by increasing consumer receptiveness towards eHealth models and rising provider and supplier willingness to partner with eHealth platforms. This is further supported by an increased influx of investments and pro-eHealth regulations.

Anil Kumar, founder and CEO of RedSeer said Indian consumers face a host of challenges in the traditional healthcare system – be it the availability of specialists or medicines at a nearby pharmacy or long waiting times to get diagnostic tests done.

“We believe e-Health platforms have a strong potential in changing the experience of the Indian consumer across the entire spectrum of outpatient services, across doctor consultation, diagnostics and pharmacy,” said Kumar. “Over the next 5 years, we project the e-Health market to exponentially grow to a $16 billion-market touching 57 million households, driven by positive reception from both consumers and providers along with supportive government regulations and investments,” he added.

As per RedSeer, the overall Indian healthcare industry is set to grow at 17 per cent CAGR until FY 2025 to reach $353 billion (7 per cent of the expected nominal gross domestic product). The firm prepared the report based on the insights from over 1200 consumers about their ‘eHealth’ experience. The report said the consumers significantly value the benefits of eHealth over the traditional outpatient care system across pharmacy, consultation and diagnostics categories.

One such e-health company is Medlife which is delivering medicines to over 25,000 pin codes and diagnostics in more than 400 towns across the country.

“Medlife is poised to end this year with a GMV (gross merchandise value) run rate of $220 million. We believe E-health and not just e-pharmacy is the mantra for this sector,” said Ananth Narayanan, CEO and co-founder of e-health company Medlife. “Our lab diagnostic business scale-up, expansion of our private label portfolio and the e-consultation platform will allow us to achieve stellar growth from these additional areas. We target to be over a $2 billion player by 2024,” said Narayanan. He said one of the biggest challenges for the sector are the fringe players who do not follow the laws and rules properly and cause a wrong perception of the industry as a whole. “We are eagerly awaiting the legislation on e-pharmacy to continue scaling the business. We believe that technology is key to provide access and affordability in healthcare. We are committed to making this happen,” said Narayanan.

Government’s go-ahead for 4 medical device parks

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 10, 2019

NEW DELHI: The government has given approval for setting up four medical device 20191111-1parks with a view to support Make in India initiative and provide world-class products at affordable price for treatment.

The four parks will be set up in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, sources said, adding that Uttarakhand and Gujarat have also approached the Centre for a go-ahead for such parks.

These parks will provide necessary infrastructure, where companies can easily plug and play, sources said.

This will not only cut import bill but will also help in easy access to standard testing facilities and reduce cost of production, they said.

The project of Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone for creation of Common Facility Centre (CFC) for Superconducting Magnetic Coil Testing and Research was given in-principle approval recently.

The scheme proposes to provide Rs 25 crore or 70 per cent of the project cost of setting up of CFCs, whichever is less, for creation of common facilities in any upcoming park.

According to estimates, the medical devices retail market in the country is of around Rs 70,000 crore. The domestic medical devices industry is very small even though India is the fourth largest market in Asia.

India is largely an importer of medical devices, with domestic industry accounting for about 2 per cent of the global industry which stands at USD 250 billion, as per the estimates.

Govt plans to set up body to regulate medical devices sector

Source: Business Standard, Sept 26, 2019

New Delhi: The government is planning to set up a Medical Devices Authority (MDA) for the entire spectrum in the medical devices sector — gauges, weighing machines, orthopaedic implants or whatever.

It will, however, not have powers on pricing. That will continue to be vested with National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), senior officials said.

The proposed body will be separate from the Central Drugs Control Standard Organisation (CDSCO), which will continue to be the regulator for drugs.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) will still frame guidelines but these would be regulated by MDA. The arrangement would be on the lines of food items, where BIS designs the standards but these are enforced by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Read the rest of this entry »

A year on, Ayushman Bharat faces multiple challenges ahead

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Sept 24, 2019

New Delhi: The free cashless health insurance scheme for the poor, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) or Ayushman Bharat completed a year on September 23. The National Health Authority (NHA) which implements the scheme stated that 46.4 lakh had received treatment through hospitalisation under the scheme. However, the past year has thrown up multiple challenges for the plan.

One such challenge is to strengthen its fraud control mechanisms. NHA said in its press release that patients availed free treatment worth nearly ₹7,500 crore . This means that the average cost of treatment per patient in the scheme comes up to ₹16, 164. The average promised annual cover of five lakh rupees per family is way higher than the average cost of treatment of a patient, considering that it is highly unlikely that all family members will avail the benefit in the same year. Read the rest of this entry »

Serum Institute opens world’s largest vaccine facility

Source: Financial Express, Sept 10, 2019

Pune: Serum Institute of India (SII) has opened the world’s largest vaccine manufacturing facility with an investment of Rs 3,000 crore in a capacity expansion move aimed at capturing 10-15% share of the international market.

The institute is getting ready to export Made in India vaccines to regulated markets like Europe and the US from its new facility, which will produce half-a-billion doses annually. Spread across 2 million sqft, the facility will cater to 150 countries.

The new multifunctional production facility for vaccines at the Poonawalla Bio-Tech Park at Manjri was inaugurated by Union minister for health and family welfare Harsh Vardhan on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt to regulate four more medical devices

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Dec 11, 2018

New Delhi: Four more medical devices — nebulisers, glucometers, digital thermometers and blood pressure monitors — have been notified in the latest addition to product categories under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, which will ensure their quality and performance.

This means such devices will be under regulation and their import, manufacture and sale will be under scrutiny. Twenty-seven product categories are now notified under the Act, said an official from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). The categories which are not notified for regulation are sold in the open market without adequate checks and balances, including for instance, pacemakers. “We are moving in the direction to now regulate all implantable devices,” said S Eswara Reddy, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Read the rest of this entry »

Govt issues new guidelines for foreigners seeking organ transplant in India

Source: Business Standard, Nov 22, 2018

New Delhi: The Health Ministry has made it mandatory for foreign nationals seeking organ transplant in India to be registered in the waiting list of hospitals following reports claiming they were being given preferential treatment by some private institutions.

The registered transplant centre has to intimate the Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisations (ROTTOs) and the list of foreign nationals seeking organ donation in India has to be shared with the NOTTO (National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation) in advance, officials said here.

Also, an organ can be allotted to a foreign national only if there is no Indian recipient available to receive the donated organ at that time, said Dr Vasanthi Ramesh, Director of NOTTO.

Among the patients from abroad, NRIs and persons of Indian origin will be given preference. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt set to bar homeopathy doctors from selling drugs

Source:, Oct 10, 2017

New Delhi: Homeopathy doctors will soon be barred from selling medicines from the premises they are practising in, according to new rules proposed by the government that are to be notified soon.

“No registered homeopathic medical practitioner who is practicing homeopathy in the premises where homeopathy medicines are sold, shall deal in homeopathic medicines,” according to the new draft rules.The new rules were drafted following complaints that commercial interests were influencing the behaviour of homeopaths, two government officials privy to the development said.

“It was seen that various pharmacists had started to station a homeopath in their shop for consultations. Likewise, homeopathy practitioners other than dispensing their medicines to their patients had started selling them over the counter too. For better regulation of homeopathic medicines, this practice needed to end,” said one of the two officials cited above.

“Once notified, this will delink consultation and selling of medicines. Chemist shop is a commercial entity and the objective of this rule is to ensure that doctors only prescribe and not sell medicines,” said the official cited above, requesting anonymity.

Homeopath Kalyan Banerjee said that the new draft rules will come as a setback to doctors selling drugs.

“This will create a lot of problems for those doctors who sell medicines over the counter too,” Banerjee said.According to one of the draft rules, chemists selling allopathic medicines will also be allowed to sell homeopathic medicines without the need to have a separate licence, as required now.

“These medicines shall be sold in the original sealed small quantity packing and they will have to be stored separately from allopathic drugs,” said the second of the two health ministry officials cited earlier.

The proposed rules also aim to weed out unqualified people from dispensing homeopathic medicines.

A person eligible to practice medicine with prescriptive rights should hold a degree in homeopathy from a recognized university or a degree in pharmacy from a recognized university or a bachelor’s degree with one year of experience in dealing with homeopathic medicines in the clinic of a registered homeopathic medical practitioner or with the holder of a licence in Form 20C or Form 20D (applications for retail are made under these forms) or diploma in homeopathic pharmacy or diploma in homeopathy and surgery.

R.K. Manchanda, co-chair of a sub-committee of the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) and the Director General of Central Council of Homeopathy (CCH), said the new rules will help promote quality homeopathic medicines.

“The competent authorities have been defined in the new rules for dispensing homeopathic drugs, thereby preventing a host of complications caused by wrong dispensing. The homeopathic medicines will be available widespread in chemists shops as there will be no need to have an additional licence to keep homeopathic medicines as required as per the existing rules. Once the new rules come into effect, the homeopathic medicines will be readily available even in far-flung areas.”

Homoeopathic medicines are covered under the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940.

The new draft rules which were discussed in detail by the sub committee of DTAB before they were sent to law ministry for vetting will be notified by the ministry of health and family welfare.

To promote homeopathy, the new rules also do away with the need for a licence for exhibiting homeopathic drugs for promotional activities in any fair.

The manufacturers will also have to adhere to requirements of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for obtaining a licence for manufacturing, which will remain valid for five years.


Healthcare Global to set up 12 new hospitals in 18 months

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 23, 2017

NEW DELHI: Healthcare Global Enterprises (HCG), a Bengaluru-based chain of specialised cancer care centres, plans to set up a dozen new hospitals over the next 18 months, the publicly traded company’s chairman, BS Ajai Kumar, said.

HCG plans to expand its network of cancer care centres to about 30 from 21 now, and will add a few more IVF clinics to its existing network, Kumar told ET.

HCG has a partnership with Kamini Rao, a leading medical practitioner in the field of assisted reproduction, to run IVF clinics under the brand name ‘Milann’. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt plans bulk drugs parks, import curbs to boost manufacturing in India

Source:, Aug 21, 2017

New Delhi: In a bid to revive India’s active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and bulk drug market, the government is contemplating restrictions on the import of APIs and has suggested setting up of mega bulk drug parks, a move that is expected to boost domestic production.

In the draft pharmaceutical policy framed by the department of pharmaceuticals under the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers, the centre has proposed “peak customs duty” for all APIs that can be indigenously manufactured.

Bulk drugs or APIs are the active raw materials used in a drug that give it the therapeutic effect. “All APIs which can be indigenously manufactured should be imported at peak customs duty,” said the draft policy, reviewed by Mint.

Read the rest of this entry »