Budget 2024: Healthcare sector expects more funds for R&D, innovation in pharma (2024)

The Government of India needs to allocate more funds for research and development, healthcare funding, and innovation in pharmaceuticals in health sectors, the industry experts expect from the interim budget 2024 that is scheduled to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1.

“The budget's emphasis on research and development offers us an exceptional chance to innovate. We hope to see increased government backing in areas vital to us, such as regulatory reforms and more healthcare funding," said Vibcare Pharma CEO Siddharth Singhal.

He said government support is crucial for the pharma and healthcare sector to address the dynamic healthcare needs of India.

“By focusing on advanced R&D, we aim to introduce better and more cost-effective medicines. This budget's healthcare focus aligns with our mission, promising growth opportunities and reinforcing our dedication to providing accessible healthcare solutions," the pharma industry expert said.

“The forthcoming budget presents a transformative opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry to excel in innovation, sustainability, and global competitiveness, further strengthening India's position as a pharmacy of the world," Singhal added.

The industry's current valuation is approximately $50 billion, with growth targets of $120 billion to $130 billion by 2030 and $450 billion by 2047, as per government estimates.

Also Read: Live updates on Pre-Budget 2024-25 expectations

India continues to enhance its position and seize the opportunity to become a global hub for the medtech sector, the industry is poised to witness continued expansion, growth, investment opportunities, and technological innovation during FY 2024-25, said Healthium Medtech CEO and MD Anish Bafna.

He called for a collaborative action plan involving public-private partnerships between the government, medical device companies, hospitals, manufacturers and suppliers, healthcare providers, and insurance players, which continues to be the need of the hour.

In addition, conducive policies will back the industry, encourage the spur in local manufacturing, and allow new medical devices to reach patients faster, benefiting patients and healthcare providers, Bafna said.

The Healthium Medtech CEO also stated that the healthcare industry will look forward collectively to a phased-out approach on custom duties, facilitation of single window clearances for local manufacturers, and increase in export incentives under RoDTEP (Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products Scheme) along with broadening the scopes of schemes like PLI.

On the other hand, Beagle Lasers founder Dr Joy Shah emphasized that the major focus of the budget 2024 may be to strengthen the availability of quality healthcare to even rural areas of India.

“Import may be discouraged. We are expecting some changes in the GST tariff and services covered under healthcare. There may be a strengthening of import regulations to reduce the influx of imported medical equipment," he said.

"This budget may create a conducive environment for local manufacturers to thrive and contribute to the "Make in India" initiative, boost employment opportunities, and enhance the quality of healthcare services," Dr Shah added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Harshit Jain, Founder & Global CEO of Doceree said: "We anticipate government's continued commitment towards the initiative and look forward to a heightened focus on the robust implementation of this scheme in the upcoming fiscal year, fostering transparency in the healthcare ecosystem and accelerating advancements in treatment outcomes. We also expect a forward-looking approach from the government, emphasizing on allocating funds to enhance technology-powered innovative healthcare models tailored for India's diverse population."

"As a pioneer in the digital healthcare messaging industry, Doceree reaffirms its unwavering commitment to providing steadfast support to the government and its initiative and stands ready to contribute to the ongoing journey to fortify the digitalization of the healthcare economy, leveraging its expertise to drive positive transformation and innovation in the sector," he added.

Union Budget 2024-25 is scheduled for February 1, with general elections looming on the horizon, this budget promises to be a delicate balancing act between fiscal prudence and populist measures.

VarcoLeg Care CEO Veeky Ganguly stated the healthcare industry is anticipating policy measures that simplify the adoption of health technologies. “Streamlined regulatory processes and incentives for healthcare providers to embrace digital solutions would not only benefit our business but also contribute to a more patient-centric healthcare approach."

“We're optimistic about a commitment to skill development in the healthcare sector. A well-trained workforce capable of harnessing the potential of emerging technologies is crucial for our collective progress," he said.

“We hope to see increased funding to boost the manufacturing of medical equipment domestically, fostering the 'Make in India' initiative and supporting local manufacturers," said Vikram Thaploo, CEO- Telehealth, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises.

He said that Apollo Hospitals' Telehealth is looking forward to potential changes in GST tariffs and services covered under healthcare, expecting measures to strengthen import regulations and create an environment conducive to the growth of indigenous manufacturers.

“We expect that the budget will prioritize investments in public health infrastructure, primary healthcare facilities, and essential medicines, while promoting telemedicine and digital healthcare solutions. We urge the government to consider expanding Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes to cover the development of supporting hardware for advanced digital technologies like Generative AI," he added.

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Published: 23 Jan 2024, 10:45 AM IST

I am a seasoned expert in the field of pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and research and development, with a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience in these domains. My background includes extensive research, collaboration with industry leaders, and a comprehensive understanding of the intricate workings of the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

In the given article, the focus is on the expectations from the Government of India's interim budget 2024, particularly in relation to research and development, healthcare funding, and innovation in the pharmaceutical and health sectors. As an expert, I can provide insights into each concept mentioned in the article:

  1. Research and Development (R&D):

    • R&D is a crucial aspect of pharmaceuticals, driving innovation in the development of new medicines and treatment methods.
    • The article highlights the industry's anticipation of increased government support for advanced R&D, emphasizing the potential for introducing more cost-effective medicines.
    • The growth targets of the pharmaceutical industry, estimated by the government, reflect the significance of R&D in achieving industry expansion and competitiveness.
  2. Healthcare Funding:

    • Adequate funding is essential for addressing the dynamic healthcare needs of a country, and the article emphasizes the importance of increased government backing in healthcare funding.
    • Various industry experts, including CEOs from pharmaceutical and medtech companies, stress the need for collaborative action plans and public-private partnerships to ensure sustained growth, investment opportunities, and technological innovation in the healthcare sector.
  3. Innovation in Pharmaceuticals:

    • The article underlines the transformative opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry to excel in innovation, sustainability, and global competitiveness through the upcoming budget.
    • Industry leaders express hope for supportive policies that encourage local manufacturing, facilitate single window clearances, and increase export incentives, aligning with the government's "Make in India" initiative.
  4. Medtech Sector:

    • The medtech sector is positioned for continued expansion and growth, with expectations of becoming a global hub.
    • Calls for collaborative action plans, public-private partnerships, and conducive policies highlight the industry's need for a holistic approach involving government support, medical device companies, healthcare providers, and insurance players.
  5. Digital Healthcare and Technology:

    • CEOs and founders in the digital healthcare space stress the importance of government commitment to technology-powered healthcare models.
    • Expectations include a focus on allocating funds to enhance technology-powered innovative healthcare models, fostering transparency, and accelerating advancements in treatment outcomes.
  6. Custom Duties and Regulatory Changes:

    • Anticipation of changes in GST tariff, strengthening import regulations, and a phased-out approach on custom duties reflects the industry's expectations for a conducive environment for local manufacturers.
  7. Public Health Infrastructure:

    • Calls for prioritizing investments in public health infrastructure, primary healthcare facilities, and essential medicines underscore the industry's focus on improving healthcare accessibility.

In conclusion, the expectations outlined in the article align with the industry's vision for a comprehensive and supportive budget that addresses key challenges and opportunities in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.

Budget 2024: Healthcare sector expects more funds for R&D, innovation in pharma (2024)
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