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New bill soon for regulating medical equipment: Ministry

The government will soon bring a bill for regulating the medical equipment industry, separating it from drug manufacturing, an health ministry official said Thursday.

The new bill will replace the Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Bill, 2007 which is pending in parliament.

"Regulation of medical devices industry has been a major challenge for the government and at present, thousands of such equipments are used in an unregulated manner," Joint Secretary (Health) Arun Kumar Panda said.

The new bill which will have a separate chapter on medical devices will soon be put up before the cabinet, he said, while addressing a seminar 'Harnessing Medical Technology for inclusive healthcare in India'.

The bill provides for monitoring and setting standards for medical devices. When passed, it will help strengthen the domestic manufacturing industry and could make medical devices more accessible and affordable to the people at large in the country.

"We still need to create a place of our own in the medical devices sector," Panda said.

He said the government is keen on strengthening its regulatory body - Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation - by providing more skilled manpower and better infrastructure in its offices across the country.