DOH to resume distribution of 51 contraceptives cleared by FDA
The Department of Health is set to procure and will resume the distribution of family planning commodities after the Food and Drug Administration declared 51 contraceptives as non-abortifacient or cannot cause abortion.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said it’s now “all systems go” for the implementation of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law beginning with the replenishment of their contraceptive supplies, many of which have already ran out.
The procurement and distribution of the 51 contraceptives, including the controversial Implanon and Implanon NXT, have been halted following a temporary restraining order by the Supreme Court, pending re-certification of these products.
“The DOH supply for progestin-only pills (POP) is zero while the supply for the injectable contraceptives has already been consumed,” noted Duque.
As for the controversial subdermal implants, Duque said they will now prioritize the distribution of their remaining stocks.
“Priority should be given to the distribution of the 250,000 implants currently kept at the DOH warehouse,” said Duque in a press briefing.
According to Commission on Population (POPCOM) Executive Director Dr. Juan Perez III, they are looking to initially procure POP and injectables that should be good for 400,000 women and is good for a year.
These two types of contraceptives have been determined as being the most popular, he noted.
“We can now buy contraceptives. Hopefully, the procurement system will be able to cope with our demands,” said Perez.
He added that they expect more women to avail themselves of the family planning products aside from the current six million availing them.
“We currently have one million new ones annually. With the RH law now to be fully implemented, maybe we will get over a million new ones annually,” said Perez.
According to DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo, they still have about P4.2 billion budget for family planning commodities for 2017.
On the other hand, Bayugo said they have a budget proposal for 2018 amounting to P4.3 billion for contraceptives.
Duque said he is willing to talk to Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III about RH Law after the latter threatened to question the DOH proposed 2018 budget.
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