The government on Monday said it is taking steps to ensure that affordable generic medicines reach common people and is also undertaking measures to promote the 'Make in India' programme in the pharmaceutical and medical devices sector.
The vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been to make medicines affordable to the common people, so over 800 medicines were brought under the pricing scheme, said Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers D V Sadananda Gowda.
"The government has ensured that generic medicines are available across the country in over 5,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras," he told PTI here on the sidelines of the 'India Pharma and Medical Device 2019' conference.
The rate of medicines there in Jan Aushadhi stores is 10 per cent to 90 per cent cheaper in these shops, he added.
Reiterating steps taken by the government to make health care affordable, he said prices of cardiac stents and knee implants have also been brought down.
While speaking at the conference, he said the government had taken initiatives to popularise the Make in India, such as plans to set up two API parks -- one in Assam and another in Andhra Pradesh -- to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the country.
Describing the Indian medical technology sector as a crucial cog in the wheel to address the country's commitment towards sustainable development goals of ensuring good health and well-being of all, he said the sector is currently "traversing a path mixed with opportunities and challenges".
The government is cognisant of the fact that medical devices must be identified as separate from pharmaceuticals for all purposes relating to business, policy and regulations, Gowda added.
To achieve this, a clear efficient and stable regulatory system is required, that would enable ease of doing business and help realise Make In India, he said.
"The sector now needs a formative resolve to prioritise, act and realise. The interventions needed to steer the sector towards a meaningful growth path need immediate formation of a long-term vision followed by diligent multi-stakeholder execution," the minister said.
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