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New body-identical HRT product approved for Scottish NHS


New body-identical HRT product approved for Scottish NHS

The first body-identical HRT capsule combining estradiol and progesterone that is indicated for post-menopausal women has been approved for use on the NHS in Scotland. 

Bijuve, a daily oral capsule combining 1mg estradiol and 100mg progesterone, will be available for use across NHS Scotland after the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) considered the evidence on its clinical effectiveness and value for money. 

The medicine, which is indicated for postmenopausal women with intact uterus who have not had a period for at least 12 months, helps to relieve symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, difficulty sleeping, low mood and discomfort during sex.

While women across Scotland will now be able to access the medicine, it is only included in a “handful” of formularies in England, said manufacturer Theramex, attributing this in part to a “lack of prioritisation of women’s health issues”. This is despite the drug receiving MHRA approval in spring 2021.

The company said women who need HRT “should be offered a choice in their treatment so they can access the best treatment for them”. 

Gynaecologist Dr Heather Currie commented on the SMC’s decision: “This is really helpful for women in Scotland and will offer another option for women who choose to take HRT.

“There is not one type or regimen which suits all women, and having more options takes us a step closer to ensuring women across all nations in the UK are able to find a preparation that suits them.” 

Theramex UK general manager Tina Backhouse said: “We do hope that timely adoption of Bijuve onto local Scottish formularies is prioritised so women have access to more treatment choices.

“Theramex would welcome the introduction of a centralised formulary in England, which would take us a step closer to equitable access for patients.”

Dr Paula Briggs, chair of the British Menopause Society, said: “The availability of a body-identical progesterone is welcome news for the women of Scotland. I am pleased to see more options for the treatment of menopause becoming available. 

“As clinicians, it is vital we empower our patients to make well informed choices on what is available and what works best for them.”

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