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FDA to certify contraceptive implants next month -— DOH

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -  Before August ends, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will come out with a certification on the safety and efficacy of subdermal implants Implanon and Implanon NXT, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said yesterday.

“It is being worked on. Maybe before the end of August, the guidelines will be out. We will have one public hearing then issue certification,” she added.

During his second State of the Nation Address, President Duterte pushed for the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law.

He also criticized the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court against the law in June 2015.

In August 2016 and April this year, the high tribunal denied the motion for reconsideration and directed the FDA to recertify the products.

The TRO stopped the Department of Health (DOH) from including the implants in its family planning program. 

But according to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, the high tribunal was still waiting for the certification of the FDA that the implants are not abortifacient. 

Ubial expressed concern that the SC is still accepting petitions against the contraceptives.

“Our concern is that the SC is still entertaining all petitions and making life difficult for reproductive health implementation. It already took them two years to come out with a decision which they issued only in April 2017,” she added.  

Meanwhile, Benjamin de Leon, president of the Forum for Family Planning and Development, commended the President for his “continuous support for the RH law.”

“What we do hope is that the SC will listen to the public’s call to once and for all lift the TRO against contraceptive implants, and also to resume the certification and re-certification of family planning products that the public, especially the women, can take as prescribed by their medical physicians,” De Leon said.

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