Contraceptives safe: FDA

By Leilani Junio

November 14, 2017, 12:20 pm

MANILA -- The Food and Drug Administration (DFA) has declared 51 contraceptives, among them Implanon and Implanon NXT, as medically safe and non-abortifacient.

Based on a resolution “on the applications for recertification filed by the Market Authorization Holders with opposition filed by Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines Inc. (ALFI), the foregoing contraceptive products have been determined to be non-abortifacient,” the  FDA said in Advisory No. 2017-302, signed by director general Nela Charade Puno, last November 10.

The FDA will soon proceed with the recertification of the 51 contraceptives.

Acting on a case filed by ALFI, the Supreme Court in June 2015 issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on subdermal implants, Implanon and Implanon NXT, requiring the FDA to determine if they cause abortion or not.

In compliance, the FDA conducted hearings with the manufacturers of the contraceptives and pro-life advocates to give both sides a chance to explain and present evidence on the products.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) on Sunday hailed the FDA resolution, saying it “effectively lifts the 29-month old Supreme Court TRO”.

“The Commission on Population appreciates the diligence of the Food and Drug Administration in completing and approving the recertification of 51 contraceptives. 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,“ POPCOM executive director, Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III, said in a statement.

“The FDA action now means that the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) implementation team headed by former health secretary Esperanza Cabral has its work cut out in the coming year: fill in the gaps in the short term, while the Department of Health now moves forward with the procurement of recertified contraceptives," Perez added. (PNA)