Union Budget 2022: Healthcare sector urges govt increase spending on genetic research

New Delhi: As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to present the Budget for the financial year 2022-23 in February, the healthcare sector has urged the government to increase spending on genetic research.

Dr Hima Jyothi Challa, Director, GenepoweRx told Zee Media, “government needs to increase the spending on genetic research. The whole world is moving towards personalized medicine. And the personalized medicines are prescribed only after genetic profiling. We have still a long way to go, we need improved infrastructure and research and development departments to conduct research around genetics. Other countries in the world are already way ahead than us. In UK medical practitioners are prescribing medicines based on gene analysis. The patients are showing remarkable progress after consuming personalized medicine. If we will not have data specific to Indian genes, personalized medicine will remain a distant dream for us.”

Challa added that government needs to give more subsidy and sop to the genetic field. 

“Currently due to less infrastructure and the presence of low number of labs, the cost of genetic profiling is very high. Only few elite people can avail the facilities. Government of India, need to give subsidies so that the personalized genetic report is available to everyone,” Challa said.

Challa further said, “We are already witnessing a massive increase in lifestyle disorders. With the reduction in physical activity, there has been a steady increase in obesity, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. As per one survey close to 5.8 Million Indians die from NCDs (heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes) every year.The rising NCD is going to be a huge burden on Indian economy. Genetic Profiling is the need of the hour, it will lead to the reduction in lifestyle diseases. The country needs a healthy and fit population to become a world giant. Gene Profiling will make Indians more aware about their physical make up. It will help in making informed lifestyle choices, which will result in the reduction of future medical bills and physical distress.”

It is high time to push for Genetic Profiling and Pharmacogenomics in India. We are amongst the 12 destinations for biotechnology on the world map. This sector is key contributor to India’s vision of reaching a $5 trillion economy by 2024. The biotechnology industry in India previously valued at US $11 billion in 2016 is all set to reach $100 billion by 2025, Challa added.

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