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Telangana government to set up medical devices park, pharma city

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-06-2017 Yunus Y. Lasania

Hyderabad: In an attempt to create a complete ecosystem for the healthcare sector, the Telangana government will set up a medical devices park and a pharma city to allow expansion of existing pharmaceutical and bulk-drug manufacturing companies located in Hyderabad.

The two new projects will complement the existing well-settled pharma industry, life sciences research and development cluster and large hospital chains which Hyderabad currently hosts.

On 18 June, Telangana information technology and industries minister K.T. Rama Rao inaugurated the Medical Devices park in Sultanpur village, Sangareddy district, about 40 km from Hyderabad. Allotment letters were given to more than 10 companies on the same day itself to set up shop in the 200 acres-plus space.

The government is also awaiting environmental clearances from the ministry of environment at the Centre for the upcoming pharma city in Mucherla village in Rangareddy district, about 80 km from Hyderabad. Currently, out of the estimated 17,000 acres of land required for the project, the government has already acquired about 5,200 acres.

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“Our biggest quantum of exports (per year) is actually from the pharma industry. It is close to Rs150,000 crore, which is even more than the IT industry. Hyderabad has a very strong presence in life sciences and bio-technology, and we wanted to create a dedicated space for pharma companies, as there is no means to adding new lines of production for them in their current locations,” said Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary (industries) in the Telangana government.

Most of the pharma and drug-manufacturing companies today operate from industrial areas established over the last few decades. However, with the city’s expansion since the 1980s to those locations, residential areas, schools and even hospitals were set up there, which brought them close to the pollutants expelled by drug manufacturing companies.

“In pharma city, the state government itself will take care of effluents let out by companies. The location is about 40 km away from the Hyderabad airport, which means that there won’t be much habitation coming up even after 50 years. Today, our assessment shows that there are close to 150 companies in Hyderabad,” explained Ranjan.

He added that setting up the medical devices park was an important, missing part of the ecosystem.

Hari Prasad, president of the Apollo Hospital group, pointed out that most of the medical devices used in the healthcare industry today are imported.

“Nobody took the initiative here in this sector. What the government of Telangana is doing is brilliant,” he said.

In total, the state government is investing about Rs3,000 crore in both the medical devices park and pharma city. About 60 companies can set up shop in the former, while drug-manufacturing and pharmaceuticals companies are expected to slowly shift their base to pharma city.

These two projects put together with Genome Valley (near Shamirpet, about 30 kilometers from Hyderabad) and a number of hospitals comprising big chains are expected to create a full-fledged healthcare system in the state.

This will even lead to the setting up of more medical centres in tier 2 and 3 cities in Telangana as Hyderabad has enough hospitals, said Prasad. “An added advantage seen of setting up the Medical Devices park will be the decrease in the cost of treatment for patients, as acquiring medical infrastructure will be cheaper,” he added.

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