The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) sought details of qualification of members of Drugs Regularity Authority of Pakistan’s (DRAP) board today.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar heard the suo motu case of substandard stents reportedly being implanted into patients in some public sector hospitals and cardiac wards.

During the hearing, government’s counsel told the court that DRAP’s board meeting regarding registration of stents was heldon Monday which continued for two days, Upon this, a member of the bench Justice Umer Atta Bandial asked as to why the applications for registration of stents were kept in pending for so long time.

The CJP remarked that the Authority registered China-made stents but kept applications for registration of America, Germanyand Japan-made stents pending. He added that application for registration of stents was put on back burner for so long time.

He asked the concerned departments to mend their ways, warning that no slackness or negligence would be tolerated anymore. He remarked that doctor implant stents into patient just simply taking out it from their briefcases, adding that the patient must know whether the stent being implanted into him/her was of quality and standard or not.

He added that no one will be allowed to implant smuggled stents. The Chief Justice remarked that the court might order for reconstitution of the DRAP’s board, adding that the members of the authority’s board must be duly qualified.

The court directed the DRAP to hold meeting by inviting all stakeholders over the issue and apprise the court about the decisions of the meeting.

The court while seeking details of DRAP’s board members’ qualification adjourned hearing of the case till second week of March.

It is to be mentioned here that the court had taken the notice on reports that some public health institutions such as the cardiac ward of Mayo Hospital Lahore and some other government-run hospitals in Punjab were either implanting stents into patients even when the intrusive procedure was simply not required or if the same was needed, the patients were charged exorbitantly up to Rs180,000 per stent.