Friday , June 9 2023

Menopausal women in the UK facing severe HRT inhibition | Company


National shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could affect almost all menopausal women in the UK.

About half of the most commonly prescribed HRT products, which replace hormones that naturally decrease during menopause including estrogen, are depleted.

Boots and Lloyds are the high street pharmacies that are supposedly experiencing shortages.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it was aware of "ongoing supply problems" due to manufacturing delays.

A spokesman said: "We work closely with all providers to maintain total flow of medicines to patients.

"Provisions of alternative HRT products are available and each affected patient should discuss alternatives with their physician."

Although the department initially learned of the problem in December, shortages have worsened in recent weeks.

Lloyds-based provider AAH Pharmaceuticals has exhausted 15 of the 24 HRT brands it stores, according to figures given to the Daily Mail. Pharmaceutical retailer Alliance, which is owned by the same group as Boots, has sold out of nine of 27 HRT products.

Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, the chair of the Royal College of Medicine, and a physician herself, said the reason for the deficiency was unclear.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's PM program, she said: "We know that there are the general phrases like 'supply problems' and' manufacturing problems.

"But because it's commercially sensitive … no one will be honest with the public and the NHS. So it's frustrating."

Stokes-Lampard encouraged women to get their repeat prescriptions for the products earlier than usual.

She said if their pharmacies would reject their usual product, they should ask pharmacists about alternatives and tell their doctor.

For women experiencing menopause, HRT is the most common form of treatment for symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness.

Products may appear as tablets, skin wires, gels and vaginal creams, weights or rings.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, around 1m women in the UK are using treatment for menopausal symptoms.

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