Menopause: Sajid Javid created ‘perfect storm’ causing HRT shortage ‘nightmare’ | UK | News

Healthcare workers have expressed alarm at reports that women were resorting to trading prescriptions and buying off the black market, raising safety concerns.

In October, the Health Secretary announced that as part of the Government’s Women’s Health Strategy it would be cutting the cost of HRT prescriptions for women in England. Prescriptions for adults in all other UK nations are free.

Mr Javid also pledged he would be “improving patient access” to the treatment, and in March announced he had established the Menopause Taskforce, with the Government “committed to reducing the cost of HRT”. On Sunday, he announced he would be appointing an HRT tsar.

However, when HRT prescriptions will be “significantly reduced” has yet to be announced. The Government made a call for evidence earlier this month, which ends in June, and Mr Javid has previously stated that the strategy would be published this year.

In the meantime, pharmacists have seen a surge of requests for HRT prescriptions, which appears linked to the greater awareness of the drug spurred on by the Government’s announcements.

Martin Sawer, executive director of the UK’s Healthcare Distribution Association, which represents the British medicines supply chain, told the Government had created a “perfect storm” of “Government changing guidance and building expectations”.

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