DRAP Shakes Up its Ranks Again: Whistleblower Deputy Director Dismissed for Misconduct

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has made headlines again as it dismissed Deputy Director Dr. Mohammad Aleem Akhtar following allegations of misconduct and whistleblowing. This marks the second time in less than three years that a DRAP officer has been terminated amid claims of corruption and irregularities within the organization.

Dr. Akhtar had sent 44 letters to various prominent offices, including the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), alleging malpractice within DRAP. These unsubstantiated claims not only embarrassed DRAP but also the entire pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan. Dr. Akhtar was accused of using DRAP’s official letterheads without proper authorization for this correspondence.

In response to a show-cause notice, Dr. Akhtar requested a personal hearing, which was granted. He then asked for a personal hearing with the DRAP Policy Board. After a thorough evaluation, the appointing authority decided to terminate his employment.

One of the major allegations made by Dr. Akhtar was that the CEO of DRAP was involved in a ‘benami’ pharmaceutical company, implying a conflict of interest. He also claimed that the CEO violated Civil Servant Study Rules by taking study leave in violation of the five-year service requirement.

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This situation echoes a similar case in 2020 when DRAP dismissed another officer, Dr. Obaid Ali, who had raised malpractice allegations. The ministry insisted that all necessary requirements were met before his termination.

The DRAP’s recent decision to dismiss another officer raises questions about the organization’s internal dynamics and its handling of allegations and whistleblowers. It underscores the challenges of maintaining transparency and accountability within regulatory bodies.

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