LAHORE -  Procurement of unregistered stents by Punjab Institute of Cardiology has put a question mark on impartiality of its chief executive as part of the committee headed by chairman Chief Minister’s Inspection Team to probe stent scam at Mayo Hospital.

On the recommendation of consultants at Mayo Hospital, patients were purchasing stents not registered with Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) from agents of importers roaming inside the health facility. The PIC had gone one step ahead of Mayo Hospital by placing order of supplying 100 resolute onyx stents of different sizes manufactured by Meditronics USA to the importer, ACP System. These are in addition to the cardiac devices being purchased inside the PIC by patients from agents recommended by consultants.

During the last year, PIC purchased 100 stents costing Rs12.5 million, each Rs1,25,000, from ACP System. The purchase order clearly showed that the said device was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US for patients’ use. But consumer access to FDA website showed that the device was not approved for patients use. Actually, resolute onyx stent is still in trial and not approved by FDA for implantation to patients in the US. Even website of manufacturer Meditronics contradicts PIC management assertion regarding FDA approval of resolute onyx. 

“People at helm of affairs at the PIC had given wrong impression regarding FDA approval. The head of the institution was aware that the said brand was not FDA approved for patients use. This stent is in clinical trial and as such can’t be used for angioplasty anywhere in the world,” said a doctor at PIC who wanted not to be named.

“Compared to Mayo Hospital, the issue at PIC is much bigger. The PIC had purchased unregistered stents not approved by FDA for patients use. But it is a pity that chief executive of PIC is one of the members of the committee probing stents scam of Mayo Hospital. The question is that how a person who himself purchased unregistered stents could probe similar case of other institution,” he said.

The same issue has been raised by head of Cardiology Department of Mayo Hospital Prof Saqib Shafi before the committee during the recent proceedings.

 He questioned the presence of chief executive PIC Prof Nadeem Hayat Malik in the committee headed by chairman CMIT, saying how a rival could be impartial.

IQTIDAR GILANI