Kalam inaugurates Asia’s first catheter and stent facility


Hyderabad : President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Friday inaugurated Asia's first catheter and stent manufacturing facility near Hyderabad and urged scientists to find a solution to the problem of blood clots caused by some drug eluting stents.

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He asked experts to take up research in stents to compare different types of DES (drug eluting stents) and newer kinds of drug combinations to be coated on stents to find a solution to the problem of late stent thrombosis.

"The ideal stent should be completely inert, not activate the clotting system and should disappear after a given period. Is it possible? You experts can make it possible," he said addressing a gathering of researchers, scientists and physicians.

The state-of-the-art facility of Relisys Medical Devices Ltd (RMDL) has come up at a cost of Rs.300 million at Manglapally, about 40 km from here.

The unit would make 200,000 stents of all types each year, including 80,000 drug-eluting ones and 125,000 catheters. It has promised to develop various types of catheters and coronary stents at substantially lower prices than their imported equivalents.

Kalam said the aim of Relisys should be to market stents, catheters and medical disposables at half the price of its competitors while maintaining high quality and higher profit margin through higher sales volumes. "This will involve expanding R & D strengths in metallurgy, drug delivery and evaluation by creating linkages with educational institutions and national R & D laboratories," he said.

Kalam added: "Above all, it is essential to bring confidence among Indian patients that stents manufactured by the RMDL are comparable to imported stents though its cost is much lower. Continuous technology flow on manufacturing, continuous improvement of design inputs from cardiologists and patients are important factors for improving competitiveness in the market."

He noted that RMDL was exploring the possibility of contract manufacturing for international players. This would not only enhance the quality of the products due to the stringent quality requirements of international firms, but would also increase the capacity utilisation of the plant, Kalam added.