Hampshire MP says HRT has run out 'completely' in constituency
A Hampshire MP has warned parliament that pharmacies in her constituency have “completely run out” of hormone replacement therapy gel products.
Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North Caroline Nokes told the Commons yesterday that HRT supply issues in pharmacies have left women “without access to the oestrogen gel that enables us to sleep and to work competently”.
Pharmacy Network News has spoken to pharmacies in the Hampshire area that are facing significant difficulties sourcing a number of HRT products.
Ms Nokes called on Mark Spencer, leader of the House of Commons, to arrange a debate “so that we can make sure that pharmacies work hand in glove with the DHSC so that we can get the supplies we need”.
Mr Spencer said in response that the Government “is aware of the supply issues that are affecting a limited number of HRT products,” adding that alternatives to these lines are available.
He assured Ms Nokes that he would raise this with health secretary Sajid Javid and said the Government is “working closely with suppliers and stakeholders to resolve the issues as quickly as possible and to ensure that the NHS is informed on a regular basis”.
Pushed by Labour MP Nick Smith to provide a date for the introduction of planned changes to HRT prescription cycles to help women save on prescription fees, Mr Harper said: “This is absolutely an important issue that the Government recognise and that the secretary of state for health and social care is currently looking at.”
Demand levels ‘extraordinary’ warns charity
According to an April 12 update from the British Menopause Society, Oestrogel has been in short supply in recent months as a result of “extraordinary demand”.
Manufacturer Besins “expects this to be a short-term issue and anticipates that supplies will be available to local wholesaler branches soon,” said the BMS.
The charity advised women who cannot obtain Oestrogel to consider alternatives such as Sandrena gel or Lenzetto spray preparations, and said prescribers may also wish to consider prescribing estrogen and progestogen separately “to make the closest match or to find a suitable alternative”.
The BMS added: “The ongoing challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in many women experiencing difficulties in obtaining their HRT supplies.
“We appreciate that continuing HRT intake is likely to help many women control their often difficult menopausal symptoms, particularly relevant given the additional stress some women may be under in view of the strains of the current situation on society.”