ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the federal government to submit details of all its projects, which were headed by noted scientist Dr Samar Mubarkmand, who was also provided Rs 37 million for the indigenous production of cardiac stents. A three-member bench Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, directed this while hearing a suo motu case pertaining to sale of substandard cardiac stents at exorbitant rates and their implantation by various hospitals of the country. During the hearing, the chief justice said the court will take up the issues of expensive dialysis and kidney treatment during the coming hearings. He observed that the medical profession should not have the objective of profiteering, instead it should be taken as to serve humanity. He said the court will make efforts to bring the price of stents below Rs 100,000. During the hearing, the committee headed by Head of Interventional Cardiology of Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC) Major-General (r) Dr Azhar Kiyani submitted its recommendations over the inexpensive production of stents at local level. The court asked the provinces to submit their proposals on the recommendations of the committee in a week. During the hearing, Dr Samar Mubarakmand had told the court that a project worth Rs 37 million was started for the production of stents when he was the chairman of the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESC). He had stated that the project was aimed at manufacturing 10,000 stents at local level, out of which 400 were manufactured and sent to Germany for testing. To a court query that where were that stents now, Dr Samar had stated that out of Rs 37 million, the machine used for manufacturing stents alone cost Rs 30 million, and the remaining amount was spent in the head of experts’ salaries and other expenses. He had stated that during this period he retired and handed over the project to the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for further undertaking. Representatives of NUST had told the court that 450 stents were sent to Germany for testing. Earlier on Jan 29, Dr Murtaza Najabat Ali, Project Director Medical Device Development at NUST had informed the court that locally manufactured cardiac stents was expected to be available in the market by June 2018. Additional Attorney General (AAG) Muhammad Waqar Rana had stated that at least 72 stent companies have been registered in Pakistan, adding that the stents worth Rs 70,000 were being sold for Rs 110,000 in the market. A coronary stent is a tube-shaped device placed in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart, to keep the arteries open in the treatment of coronary heart disease. In January 2017, the Chief Justice had taken suo motu notice of substandard stents fraud in cardiac ward of Mayo Hospital Lahore and other hospitals of Punjab. According to reports, the hospital staff applied substandard stents, which cost few thousands and the amount received from patients was around one hundred eighty thousand rupees, while most of the patients remained deprived of stents despite they paid. Published in Daily Times, February 9th 2018.