• Health and Social Welfare Minister Sajid Javid met today with major providers to discuss increasing supply of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to meet demand now and in the future
  • Manufacturers outlined the steps they are taking to increase supplies, and pharmacists shared their experiences at the forefront, and shared their thoughts on broader solutions, including improved communication
  • The meeting comes after a series of actions by the government to provide more women with access to the necessary HRT

Urgent action is still being taken to ensure that women across the UK are able to access HRT products more reliably.

Health and Social Services Minister Sajid Javid reaffirmed his commitment to tackling HRT when he and Madeline McTernan, head of the HRT working group, met today (May 5th) with representatives from the supply, wholesale and public pharmacy sectors.

Meeting with Aspen Pharmacare, Besins-Healthcare, Gedeon Richter, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Orion, Pfizer, Theramex, Viatris and representatives of public pharmacies, the government reaffirmed its intention to work with industry to do whatever it takes to improve HRT supplies to publish and listen to industry experience. and public pharmacies and what they believe needs to be done to improve the current situation for patients.

Growth in demand has contributed to some supply problems, but other factors may also affect supply related to production, capacity constraints and commercial decisions. The Minister of Health and Social Services wanted to understand the problems faced by providers and what can be done to address them.

Health and Social Welfare Minister Sajid Javid said:

I want to continue to assure women that I listen to their concerns. Meetings with key stakeholders and suppliers are one of the many steps we are taking to ensure women have access to the necessary HRT.

We will not leave a stone unturned in our national mission to increase HRT supply. Along with the appointment of Madeleine McTernan as head of the working group to provide HRT to implement the lessons learned from the pandemic, and ensure the issuance of prescriptions in shorter cycles at the moment, we are working with the sector to urgently address this issue.

HRT Supply Working Group Chair Madeleine McTernan said:

Joint and constructive discussions today focused on what steps can be taken quickly to improve the situation in the short term, and on ensuring long-term change to ensure that these key products can continue to be delivered reliably and efficiently.

I was impressed by the positive contributions of all participants and look forward to further developing this.

Women’s Health Minister Maria Caulfield said:

I know that HRT can be a lifeline for women suffering from severe menopausal symptoms.

We are doing everything in our power to ensure that women can continue to access the HRT they need to continue living their lives without the constraints of menopause.

This happened when last week the Minister of Health and Social Services issued Serious Deficiency Protocols (SSPs) to limit the issuance of three HRT products to three months. This will save time for patients, pharmacists and prescribers, and will even out the spread of in-demand products such as estrogel.

Vaccine Group Director-General Madeleine McTernan was also recently appointed to lead a new HRT supply task force, applying lessons learned from successful procurement during the Covid vaccination program to identify ways to support the HRT supply chain, ensuring it can meet both short-term and long-term demand. . Additional members of the Vaccine Task Force will also be transferred to support this work, as the government will redouble its efforts to provide women with access to high-quality menopausal treatment, including HRT.


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