Category — Healthcare

‘Make in India’ Attracts Business from Italy

On a three-day business mission to New Delhi, India in April, a delegation led by Italy’s deputy minister for economic development, Ivan Scalfarotto, aimed to strengthen bilateral ties and make the most of the plentiful business opportunities that India has on offer.

The platform, promoted by the Italian Ministries of Economic Development and Foreign Affairs, in partnership with India’s trade bodies FICCI and CII, saw participation by various state representatives, along with 140 big enterprises and SMEs, across varied sectors, from both India and Italy. 80 companies, out of the total industry representation in the forum, in areas such as automotive, healthcare, defense, aviation and railways were from Italy exploring growth opportunities in India.

Ivan Scalfarotto at the India-Italy Business Forum

Ivan Scalfarotto at the Italia-India Meet

Speaking at the event, Scalfarotto said that more than 60 Italian automotive companies were working with 80 manufacturing facilities in India — most of them located in the Maharashtra belt — “and yet keeping an eye on the immense future potential,” reports Autocar Professional.

 

May 12, 2017   No Comments

Herbal Supplements Market to Grow at 6.29% Annually

Pune, India-based Sandler Research forecasts that the global herbal supplements market will grow at a CAGR of 6.29% during the period 2016-2020. The report says that the drivers facilitating this growth are the growing awareness of the benefits of dietary supplements especially among women, and the increase of herbal supplements among adults.

Key players in this market are: Gaia Herbs, Herb Pharm, Nature’s Bounty, Nutraceutical, and Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems. Other well-known vendors are: Arizona Natural Products, Arkhopharma, Bio-Botanica, Blackmores, i-Health, Megafood, New Chapter, Pharma Nord APS, Pharmavite, Ricola USA, Solgar, and Sundown Nutrition.

Herbal Supplements

PR Newswire reports that the demand for herbal supplements is fueled by the increase in healthcare expenses globally due to the rising prices of drugs, medical devices, and hospital care. In 2015, Europe  dominated the global herbal supplements market with a market share of around 45%. The growing number of e-commerce and retail stores, coupled with a rise in the older population, is expected to boost growth in the herbal supplements market in Europe during the forecast period.

April 28, 2017   No Comments

MIT Grads Provide Biodegradable Sanitary Pads to Rural India

A startup, Saathi (meaning ‘companion’ in Hindi), founded by three graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a graduate from Nirma University in India, is hoping to improve access and waste disposal of sanitary pads for women in rural India.

275,000,000 women in India cannot access pads because they are too expensive (also scarcely available, and difficult to discard). “Only 16 percent of women have access to sanitary pads in India,” Kristin Kagetsu, co-founder and CEO of the company told NBC News during an interview at the company’s production facility, located outside Ahmedabad, in India’s western state of Gujarat.

The sanitary napkins are eco-friendly: they are made from locally-sourced banana fiber, which is highly absorbent and biodegradable; it doesn’t have to be burned when disposed, thus helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Banana Fibers

Fibers from the banana tree

Saathi is one of the finalists in the Health and Wearable Technologies category at SXSW, Austin, Texas. It is looking  funding this project, and according to its website, $12,737 have been raised toward a target of $20,000.

April 19, 2017   No Comments

India Caps Prices on Coronary Stents Triggering Debates

After including drug eluting stents and bare metal stents in the National List of Essential Medicines in July last year, the government of India added them to the Schedule I of the Drug Prices Control Order, 2013, last December, and brought the devices under price control.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has capped a drug eluting stent at $458 and a bare metal stent at $112.  All stent manufacturers as well as importers will now have to price their products below the notified ceiling price.

Since hospitals also function as retailers of stents they will also be required to display the prices prominently in the hospital premises, per the Drug Price Control Order 2013, reports BusinessLine.

Sahajanand Medical Technologies Stent

Sahajanand Medical Technologies Stent

Health groups, such as the Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare, expressed satisfaction with the decision. “After months of consultations, we welcome the strong and determined action of the government, particularly in the face of a concerted campaign by industry and profit-oriented hospitals to prevent any form of effective price control,” said Malini Aisola of the All India Drug Action Network.

The Medical Technology Association of India expressed disappointment with the decision saying the “move will reduce the options available for the Indian patient for their specific medical condition or deprive them the satisfaction of choosing from the most advanced and cutting edge technologies.” The Association asked for a 45-day transition time for implementing the price change.

 

April 11, 2017   No Comments

Impact Investor Acumen To Raise India-Dedicated Fund

Headquartered in New York City, global impact investor Acumen is planning to launch an India-dedicated fund, as the investor plans on raising funds from India.

The company was incorporated in 2001 by Jacqueline Novogratz, with seed capital from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation and individual philanthropists. Acumen’s work in India spans four sectors—healthcare, education, clean energy and agriculture.

Acumen Logo

Ajit Mahadevan, India director at Acumen said, “Across the four sectors we work in, we will look at these two enabling themes [technology and financing], because on the back of that you can create accelerated impact. All our education companies have a technology element. In agriculture, the focus is on access to markets using technology,”  The impact investor is exploring new avenues such as student and school financing, health insurance and MSME debt financing, reports Livemint.

“Acumen has invested over $100 million globally and the largest country is India. About a third of that has been invested in India, around $32 million, making us the largest non-microfinance investor in our sectors,” added Mahadevan.

April 9, 2017   No Comments