The government is “confident” that supplies of HRT drugs will soon “get back on track” after the shortage has left some women feeling suicidal.
Patient Safety Secretary Maria Caulfield says the main product of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that is lacking is estrogen.
Hormone therapy helps fight menopausal symptoms, which include anxiety, arthritis, sleep disturbances, and hot flashes.
Ms Caulfield said the government was talking to suppliers after demand had “really grown in recent months”, leading to a shortage of “small quantities”.
“Manufacturers are currently increasing supplies, and the government has been told that Oestrogel supplies should return to normal” around June, “he added.
Health Minister Sajid Javid announced on Sunday that he would be appointing an ARF tsar help improve supply in both the short and long term.
Recent figures show that the number of HRT prescriptions in the UK has doubled in the last five years, but supplies are running low.
Women are now reportedly sharing their prescriptions, and some say they are committing suicide because of menopausal symptoms, which they suffer from without medication.
Ms Caulfield added that she had met with trade associations dealing with HRT providers.
“They are confident that they will return supplies to the level of demand we need, but we do not want to leave anything to chance, so we are at the forefront of HRT supply so that if there is anything the government can help. “Suppliers, we are able to do that,” he said.
He added that while demand for HRT has increased recently, the COVID epidemic has made it difficult to source some components, and there have been challenges around the world, not just in the UK.
But he said: “We are confident that we can get supplies back on track.”
Ms Caulfield said the government was considering limiting the number of prescriptions that could be issued, but that it was “not on our list of priorities” – they wanted women to feel confident by contacting GPs about HRT.
“It’s so important that this is arranged for postmenopausal women, that’s why it’s a priority for us,” she added.
He said women would be able to pay 70 18.70 a year in reserves by next April.
His colleague, former Conservative Secretary Caroline Knox, told parliament last week that the availability of an estrogen gel “allows us to sleep and work properly.”
Labor MP Carolyn Harris, co-chair of the UK Menopause Working Group, welcomed the new HRT tsar, but said the price change was coming too late, “women deserve better”.
The British Menopause Association said on Monday that women who could not receive estrogen should consider “equivalent alternative HRT preparations”, including 0.5 mg or 1 mg of Sandrena gel or Lenzetto spray.
It says that GPs should consider the use of adequate medications or prescribe estrogen-progestogen separately “to find the closest match or suitable alternative.”
Lack of HRT. government “confident” supplies will soon “get back on track” | Political news
Source Lack of HRT. government “confident” supplies will soon “get back on track” | Political news