MCI gets new board with tainted member

Private doctor implicated for conducting illegal clinical trials

The board will be headed by K K Talwar, former director, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, who will replace the incumbent Shiv Kumar Sarin.  Other members o f the board are K S Sharma, director of academics at Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, Harbhajan Singh Rassam, a senior doctor from Max Heart and Vascular Institute and Rajiv Chintaman Yeravdekar, dean, faculty of health sciences, Symbiosis International University, Pune.

The fifth member of the board is Purushotham Lal, chairman, Metro Group of Hospitals in Noida who was implicated in an illegal and unethical clinical trial in his hospital in 2001.

Lal injected “vascular endothelial growth factor” in 11 Indian patients without the necessary regulatory approval and without informing the patients about the risks involved. Even though the US regulatory authority pulled up Lal and his collaborator, the Union Health Ministry and Drugs Controller General of India let him off without any consequences.

 Lal in fact went on to receive a Padma award from the government.

The new board will take over from May 14, when the term of the present board expires. None of the members from the existing board, Devi Shetty included, were retained.

The extension was required because the current MCI board’s tenue is coming to an end on May 14.

The Centre on Monday issued the gazette notification to extend the tenure of the MCI board by one more year to ensure smooth implementation of the MBBS common entrance test and transition to the National Commission on Higher Education and Research, which will regulate medical education in future.

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