May 5, 2020

What will bring back momentum of growth for India Healthcare post – Covid-19

The current economic reality has created a scenario of gloom and caution, and is also negatively impacting the mindset of the people towards less urgent expenses.

For demand in the Healthcare segment – Pharmaceutical – It’s a short term impact, and things will improve in a couple of months as soon as raw material supply and supply chain is brought back to normal Hospitals – as soon as sentiments within people improve, people & non-covid patients will go back to addressing their pending healthcare issues, before they become more critical. Decrease in corona positive cases, and vaccine / cure of corona will drive the revival of this segment.

Devices / Manufacturing segment – these are again largely related to hospitalisation and diagnostics needs and will revive in a couple of months.

However, there is a major growth opportunity for India. The development of the corona test kits and vaccine will drive a major growth in the IVD and pharmaceutical segments, and may further consolidate the Indian healthcare segment on the global map.

The issue of inverted duty structure if addressed logically will drive a high-paced growth for the Indian IVD segment.

India is a strong contender to emerge as the alternate hub for global pharmaceutical manufacturing, and policy changes and ease-of-business drivers will benefit India in a big way.

The earlier we start economic activities and cash starts floating around the better it would be for the revival of the Indian economy. The government should ensure it does everything in its capacity to ensure that industries are provided with all sorts of concessions and benefits-tax sops, soft loans and longer repayment tenures, adequate financing, ease of doing business aspects like single window clearances, supply chain and logistics certainty. If these aspects are quickly dealt with, the Indian Healthcare would spring back with renewed force and vigor.

The viral nucleic acid-based test using quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the first line screening method of choice for SARS-CoV-2 detection being regarded as the “gold standard” test due to its high sensitivity, rapid detection, and other desirable characteristics. However in case of a higher sample load , Antigen detection using ELISA tests are the preferred choice for timely reporting of the patient results as this will be helpful in ; Reducing transmission rate & Faster Contact Tracing.

The above mentioned points highlight the importance of early adoption of Antigen testing within the ICMR protocol for diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 virus. Apart from being a highly sensitive and selective analytical tool for diagnosis, the Antigen test is an essential component in fighting the pandemic.

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