Commission on Population (PopCom) bared that about P248-million worth of contraceptives will expire by 2018 unless the Supreme Court (SC) lifts the temporary restraining order (TRO) on these family planning supplies.
More than that, this expiration will result to limited brands or kinds of contraceptives for couples to choose from, according to Lydio Espanol, PopCom Region IV-B Director. About 90% of contraceptive brands will no longer be available in the market.
Espanol in a forum on Tuesday said, “They would thus be deprived of their reproductive health and rights.”
“Unless the TRO is lifted, government investments like that of the procured subdermal implants which are now on stock in the Department of Health (DOH) warehouses and will be expiring by 2018 will all go to waste,” he said.
According to Espanol, not only these will go to waste, but the investments on training health practitioners as well – which prevents the full implementation of Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law.
The TRO has banned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from “granting any and all pending application for reproductive products and supplies, including contraceptive drugs and devices.”
On June 17, 2015, the high court prohibited the DOH from “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing, or administering, advertising, and promoting” Implanon and Implanon NXT – implants that can stop pregnancy up to three years. This was related to the petition of Alliance for Family Foundation Philippines Inc. (ALFI) – who claimed that the said implants can cause abortion.
This was then lifted after the FDA confirmed that the implants are not abortifacients.
Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III, PopCom Executive Director, said in a press briefing on Thursday that Implanon and Implanon NXT, along with other approved contraceptives, will be distributed within the next two weeks.
Perez on November 12 said that the PopCom appreciates FDA’s completion in approving and recertifying 51 contraceptives that are not abortifacients.