The government is looking to bring in a new pharma policy for implementing the proposed healthcare plan across the country in the next couple of months, Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ananth Kumar said.
“We are eliciting opinions, we are having discussions and new dimension has been added in this budget of universal healthcare that also has to be co-opted into this pharma policy. In couple of months we will finalize it,” Kumar said.
While doing so, we will go for all-round reforms so that ease of doing business and ease of living can go hand in hand, he added.
The big healthcare initiative announced in the budget for 2018-19 seeks to cover 10 crore households requires many verticals — infrastructure, human resources and pharma and medical device products, Kumar told reporters here.
To fulfill this huge demand we have urged the participants of the conclave to ensure implementation of healthcare initiative through ‘Make in India’ efforts. The moto of the prime minister is to provide quality and affordable healthcare, he added.
“My estimation is that this decision of the Prime Minister will lead to India becoming number one pharmacy in the world in five years,” Kumar said.
“We are for a reform of regulatory rules and regulations governing pharma and medical devices without compromising on quality and affordability. These are the touch stones for pharma and medical devices by the government of India,”he said.
Pharma and Medical Devices sector will be a major employment provider going forward, he added.
“We have global presence and supply pharmaceutical to more than 215 countries and are the third biggest manufacturers. Compared to global growth rate of 5 per cent we are growing at the rate of 15 per cent,” Kumar said.
When asked if the government was also mulling fixing prices of other medical devices, he said: “There is huge demand from the people that various other implants and devices should be under price control and the government is seriously considering it.”
The minister also said the country needs a separate ministry of pharma and medical devices. “I have been pursuing this. My ministry is pursuing this with the Prime Minister,” Kumar said.