Prices of contraceptives may increase – DOH
Arnel Medina (The Philippine Star) - June 4, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) is worried over the possible increase in the prices of contraceptives in the country in the next two years if the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court on the renewal of licenses of local suppliers is not lifted.

Health Secretary Janette Garin said the country may soon run out of contraceptives because the TRO stops the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from renewing the licenses of suppliers of brands currently being sold in the local market.

“What is painful here is we are doing our best to make sure that the unmet needs of women are met. We are putting supplies where it is needed. But if the TRO will not be lifted, our supplies are being depleted,” she noted.

Garin gave assurance the DOH had placed orders and the supplies would be delivered in tranches over the next two years. 

The agency has requested for longer expiry dates for the products.

But in the private sector, importers and manufacturers will no longer be able to renew their licenses unless the TRO is lifted by SC.

Issued in July 2015, the TRO prohibits the FDA from granting any and all pending applications for reproductive products and supplies, including contraceptive drugs and devices.

The order stemmed from the petition filed by Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines. 

It covers pills, intrauterine device, condoms and other artificial methods of family planning.

At the same time, a TRO was also issued on implanon, a contraceptive implant that was included by the DOH in its reproductive health program.

“The primary consequence of this is the increase in the prices of commodities. And when supplies run out here, do we have to go abroad to buy our supplies?” Garin asked.

She added the Office of the Solicitor General, which serves as legal counsel of the DOH, is preparing to make an endorsement to request the lifting of the TRO.

The DOH is also including the issue in its transition report for the next administration. 

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