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SC: Ban on 2 implants may still be lifted

The ban imposed by the Supreme Court on the purchase and distribution of two contraceptive implants may still be lifted upon the compliance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te clarified on Monday.

In a statement, Te said the entry of judgment issued by the tribunal’s Second Division on June 15 only made “final and executory” the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the use, sale, procurement and distribution of Implanon and Implanon NXT.

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He said the resolution only covered the two specific contraceptive implants and not the entire Republic Act No. 10354, or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, which the 15-member tribunal had unanimously declared constitutional.

“Due to the ‘sunset clause’ incorporated in the court’s decision and resolution … it was clear that the court never intended the TRO to be a ‘permanent’ one and thus at no time should the TRO be referred to as a ‘permanent’ order,” said the court official.

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In its April 27 ruling, the court said: “After compliance with due process and upon promulgation of the decision of the [FDA], the [TRO] would be deemed lifted if the questioned drugs and devices are found not abortifacient.”

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday also assured the public that the Supreme Court decision on the TRO of subdermal contraceptives recertification and ban on implants was not a permanent one.

The high court merely noted that the DOH and FDA must comply with its April 26 decision, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said in a statement.

“The TRO will be lifted once FDA has determined that implants and other contraceptives are non-abortifacient. It is expected that by the end of this month, FDA will issue its findings on all contraceptives and certifications will be issued accordingly,” she said.

The secretary said available supplies of contraceptives may still be accessed by the public through the rural health units, as well as partner hospitals and nongovernment service providers.

“Once the TRO is lifted, the people can be assured that the provisions of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law will be implemented without restraints and in full compliance,” Ubial said.

In a resolution released last week, the second division of the high court issued an entry of judgment on its revised ruling last April that voided the certifications issued by the FDA on Implanon and Implanon NXT and included a TRO on their distribution.

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TAGS: BFAR, Contraceptive Implants, Implanon, Implanon NXT, Reproductive Health Act, Supreme Court, Theodore Te
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