Bengaluru : Indian IT, Biotech and pharma industries will not be impacted due to Donald Trump’s policies as the US is expected to continue “the commerce-related attitude” towards the country, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers HN Ananth Kumar said.
“Prime Minister has already had a telephonic conversation with the US President (Trump). As per the relations we have been having with the US, I don’t think there will be any change in the attitude of the US in terms of commerce-related issues. I also don’t think, there will be any problem for the Indian IT, BT and pharmaceutical industries,” Kumar said.
He was replying to a query on Trump’s policy of protectionism at a news conference to announce the “Indian Pharma” and “India Medical Devices-2017” international conference scheduled to be held here from February 11 to 13.
Some of the key Indian companies have been sceptical about Trump’s stress on protectionism, including the IT industry. IT industry body Nasscom has been wary about Trump’s statement on visa-related issues.
Trump had said one of his first executive orders would be to order investigation into all visa abuses, which industry watchers say could mean facing of tough scrutiny under his administration by foreigner workers, including Indians.
Replying to a query, Kumar said a notification to fix prices of cardiac stents will be issued by the Central government in the next 10 to 15 days.
“We have issued a notification of price fixation for stents. I expect within next 15 days, the notification will come before the entire country and all the cardiac stents steel or cobalt, their prices will be reduced in a great way and controlled as well,” he said.
The health ministry had included stents last July in the National List of Essential Medicines, whereby the device came under purview of price control of the government, Kumar said.
“The step was taken as it was felt that the margin for hospitals in terms of MRP of the stents was too high. The government based its decision on a sub-committee report that recommended putting all types of stents into the list,” he said.
Asked about action the government has taken against drugmaker Abbott India for alleged marketing malpractices, Kumar said, “Whenever a complaint comes to us in written format, we immediately take action on it.”
Abbott India has been accused, in a report submitted by the British Medical Journal, of pushing its untested drug Surbex Star through free medical camps. The report also said the company’s salespersons, or medical representatives, screened and tested patients who came to the camps.
Kumar said government was contemplating making mandatory the Uniform Code for Pharma Marketing Practices which is voluntary till now. “We have come out with a code of conduct for marketing practices, but because the code of conduct was voluntary it was not adhered to properly. Therefore, after reviewing it, we are thinking of making this code of conduct mandatory.”