by Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce
Amid the presence of the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC), the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday warned that a number of contraceptive drug products “preferred by the public” will have their Certificates of Product Registration (CPRs) expired by this year.
“There are contraceptives commonly preferred by people, because they really have preference, which are those they like, in terms of contraceptives, that are already set to expire this year,” said Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo noted in a press conference.
Bayugo cited the Trust contraceptive pill, that costs P43, which has a CPR set to expire in June.
“How can the public have access to contraceptives if the cheaper ones will disappear and the costly ones will remain? Even the DOH will be unable to purchase them,” Bayugo pointed out.
In 2016, DOH records revealed, a total of 15 contraceptive products – including 11 pills, three injectables, and one subdermal implant – had their CPRs expired already. Three contraceptive pills – Marvelon 28, Lady, and Denise – also had their CPRs expired earlier this year.
Seven other contraceptive pills are also set to have their CPR expire between April to October 2017. These are Daphne, Minipil, Liza, Lizonya, Cybelle, Gracial, and Yasmin.
Three other injectables will also have their CPRs expire this year. These are Depotrust, Lyndavel, and DKT.
Meanwhile, the 18 remaining contraceptive products are set to have their CPRs expired between 2018 to 2020.
The twin TRO on contraceptives was issued by the SC in 2015. The first TRO stops the DOH from distributing, selling, and administering contraceptive implants; and the other to prevent the Food and Drug Administration from acting on all applications for reproductive products and supplies, including contraceptive drugs and devices.
POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez said the forthcoming absence of available contraceptives, especially the cheaper ones, is really alarming for the health sector.
“The cheapest contraceptives will be out in the market soon. This is cause for us to ask the SC to lift TRO. By 2020, we will have no more contraceptives in this country,” he said.
Perez noted that this could cause the number of maternal mortality in the country to rise, instead of reduced as aimed by the Reproductive Health (RH) Law when it was signed in 2012.
He added that since the TRO was issued in June 2015, they estimate that there have already been 500,000 additional births all over the country.
“It is going to be a public health emergency. We already presume that there are 1,000 maternal deaths from June 2015 to March 2017,” said Perez.
Perez reiterated the call to the SC to lift the TRO and allow the re-certification of contraceptive products.
Tags: Certificates of Product Registration, Certificates of ‘contraceptives preferred by public’ to expire, Department of Health, Gerardo Bayugo, Manila Bulletin, mb.com.ph, Supreme Court, temporary restraining order