By Yas D. Ocampo
Davao City – The City Health Office (CHO) here said that there are still around 5,000 stocks of Implanon being stored by the city that remain undistributed without guidelines from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on its distribution. And these are going to expire next year and 2019.
CHO population chief Jeff Fuentes, speaking at the weekly iSpeak forum last week, said that there were still those who were against the subdermal implants and considered these devices as abortifacients.
“Hantod karon, naa gihapon tong mga dili uyon (Up to now, there are still those who don’t agree with their use). They will always look for ways kung unsaon nga dili successful ang impementation sa balaod,” Fuentes said.
At the moment, the CHO has been limited to referring patients to private providers that give the subdermal implants for free.
But still, the CHO continues to dispense contraceptive pills.
In an earlier interview, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said that the Department of Health (DOH) had imported as many as R450-million worth of the subdermal implants as early as February 2015.
But on June 2015, the Supreme Court released a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the distribution of these products as family planning commodities, including pills, injectibles, and intrauterine devices.
Two years later, the Supreme Court directed the FDA to set up a system for the identification of guidelines for the distribution of the products.
The High Court also required the FDA to conduct a public hearing or consultative assembly so that both sides can be heard.
“As of now, they [the FDA] have finalized the guidelines, and it’s for publication,” Ubial said.
Once the guidelines are published, the subdermal implants could be legally distributed.
The implants are worth around P4,000 in the market.