FDA certifies 51 contraceptives as non-abortifacients

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The Commission on Population (PopCom) on Monday said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved all 51 contraceptives up for certification and recertification including Implanon and Implanon NXT.

Resolution 2017-302 dated November 10 shows that all 51 contraceptives up for certification and recertification have been approved.

Among the approved contraceptives were Implanon and Implanon NXT, which in effect would lift the 29-month temporary restraining order (TRO) of the Supreme Court (SC) in the case of Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines Inc. against then-Health Secretary Janette Garin et al. in 2015.

Under a “sunset clause,” the TRO will be lifted if the FDA complies with the mandate of the High Court and certifies Implanon and Implanon NXT as non-abortifacients.

PopCom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez welcomed the approval of the FDA on the 51 contraceptives, saying the decision “could not have come at a better time” as they can soon procure supplies for public use.

“This could not have come at a better time as depleted contraceptive supplies will now be augmented by over two hundred thousand implants. Annually, one million women become new acceptors of modern family planning methods,” Perez said in a statement.

“The lifting of the TRO will allow the DoH [Department of Health] to start procuring commodities from its 2017 budget. All Filipinos working for women’s health should rejoice in this development,” he added.

Earlier this month, Perez said in a news conference that the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (RPRH) is now “on track.”

“The FDA will declare contraceptives as non-abortifacients, lifting the TRO. Full implementation of the RH Law is now on track,” he said in the news briefing.

The DoH also welcomed the decision of the FDA, saying it has been compliant with the SC and determined abortifacient from non-abortifacient using best available scientific evidence.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd said the DoH is committed to implement the RPRH Law as it is their job to give Filipino families access to appropriate family planning services.

“We assure everyone that the full and strict implementation of the RH Law which President Duterte ordered earlier this year will be fair, even-handed and not adversely affect our people’s health,” Duque added.

The PopCom and the FDA are both agencies under the DoH.

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