"The Medical Council had recently amended its guidelines to encourage doctors to prescribe generic names of medicines. In the budget speech, it has been indicated that changes may also be introduced to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules along similar lines. This will be a significant change if introduced and pharma companies will have to alter their marketing strategies" said Bhavik Narsana, Partner, Khaitan & Co.
"The Honourable Finance Minister spoke about bringing medical devices into the price control net. The price control on stents last year met some industry resistance. Given medical devices have not been in price control before, industry reactions will be interesting" said Ajay Bhargava, Partner, Khaitan & Co.
"Draft medical devices rules have been in vogue for quite some time already. It is encouraging to see that the Government will seek to introduce some regulations in the coming year" said Anand Mehta, Partner, Khaitan & Co.
"The budget speech spoke of increased FDI over the last year. Recent changes towards liberalising FDI in the pharma sector will only lead to this being increased further in the coming year. The abolition of the FIPB is a measure which should reduce deal timelines though we will need to see how other restrictions in the FDI policy would now be implemented" said Rajat Mukherjee, Partner, Khaitan & Co.
"Telemedicine levels in India despite the enhanced levels of internet penetration have been quite low. The reference in the budget speech of this important aspect of increasing the healthcare footprint is likely to create new business opportunities" said Sameer Sah, Associate Partner, Khaitan & Co.
"The budget speech gave emphasis to increasing investment in medical devices' manufacturing in India. One aspect which should be addressed is the patentability of medical devices, given certain exclusions to patentability, and thus due care needs to be taken while drafting these applications" said Adheesh Nargolkar, Partner, Khaitan & Co.