This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

HRT prescriptions rose by 35 per cent in 2021-22


HRT prescriptions rose by 35 per cent in 2021-22

The number of HRT items prescribed in England in 2021-22 was 35 per cent higher than in the previous year, according to newly published NHS data.

The NHS Business Service Authority’s HRT report reveals that in the 12 months to April 1 this year 7.8 million items were prescribed, up from 5.8 million in 2020-21. 

It shows that an estimated 1.93 million patients were prescribed HRT in 2021-22, a 30.5 per cent increase compared to 2020-21.

The report points to a steady rise in HRT prescribing since 2015, when 4 million items were prescribed to 1.4 million patients.

The current financial year is on track to see an even bigger rise in HRT prescribing, with 2.6 million items prescribed between April and June this year – 55 per cent higher than the same period in 2021-22.

NHS BSA said: “Prescribing of HRT drug items has been increasing since July 2020, with 373,000 more items prescribed in June 2022 when compared to July 2020, an increase of 75.1 per cent over the period.”

Vagifem 10mcg pessary tablets were the most commonly prescribed HRT preparation in 2021-22 at 589,000 items, followed by estradiol 10mcg pessaries at 545,000 items.

Patients in the most affluent parts of the country appear to be almost twice as likely to be prescribed a HRT product in 2021-22 compared to those in the most deprived areas, reversing a pattern observed for several other medication groups.

NHS Dorset had the highest number of identified patients at 50 per thousand people, while NHS North East London had the lowest number at 17 per thousand.

Meanwhile, patients accessing HRT in poorer areas tended to be younger, with 76.6 HRT patients in the most deprived areas aged under 60, compared to 64.6 per cent in the east deprived areas.

The statistics cover two BNF categories: female sex hormones and their modulators, and preparations for vaginal and vulval changes.

The report does not distinguish between medicines prescribed for their primary therapeutic indication and those prescribed to treat other conditions, such as gender dysphoria.

Copy Link copy link button


Stay up to date with all the news, learning and insight in the world of pharmacy.