Women STILL struggling to get HRT medication, forcing them to share
Women are STILL struggling to get hold of HRT medication, forcing them to share as the shortage returns
- Women forced to share HRT medication a year after shortages hit supply chain
Women are still struggling to get a hold of HRT medication a year after shortages crippled the supply chain.
At the start of 2022, women suffering from symptoms of the menopause were meeting in car parks and visiting dozens of different pharmacies to obtain any available treatment.
The Government set up an HRT taskforce to ensure a steady supply, and announced a Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) allowing pharmacists to substitute treatments without a woman returning to her GP.
But it has emerged sufferers are still resorting to sharing medication and waiting months for prescriptions to be fulfilled. And some pharmacies are once again telling patients that they do not have enough HRT to meet demand.
The country’s largest online pharmacy, Pharmacy2U, sent a note to patients this week saying it was struggling to fulfil all prescriptions of Utrogestan, a form of progesterone that the majority of women on HRT take alongside oestrogen.
HRT: Supplies are restricted (file photo)
‘We are trying as hard as possible to get more Utrogestan from suppliers and directly from the manufacturer,’ the letter said, according to the i newspaper.
‘We are receiving some supplies, but not receiving as much as we need.’ It added that it could take ‘several weeks’ to meet demand and that other pharmacies were affected.
Women have taken to social media to ask for advice. One seeking Utrogestan said a ‘kind lady from Ireland’ had agreed to ship some of her leftover tablets – despite it being illegal.
The problem appears UK-wide, with women in London, Belfast and Glasgow complaining about scarce supplies. Around two million women use HRT. Diane Danzebrink, founder of the website Menopause Support, said: ‘The situation with Utrogestan is really worrying as there isn’t another micronised progesterone product they can swap to.’
Diane Danzebrink, founder of the website Menopause Support, said: ‘The situation with Utrogestan is really worrying as there isn’t another micronised progesterone product they can swap to’
She said there was also confusion with another treatment, Estradot patches, with manufacturers saying they were in stock but pharmacies unable to get them from wholesalers. ‘Yet again it is women who are left to pick up the pieces,’ she added.
Fellow campaigner Katie Taylor, founder of The Latte Lounge online menopause and midlife support group, said: ‘Yet again women are facing HRT shortages. The fact that this situation keeps cropping up year after year is unacceptable.’
The Daily Mail’s ‘Fix the HRT Crisis’ campaign aimed to help women get access to medication. It led to the Government’s announcement of the SSP.
A spokesman for Besins Healthcare, which makes Utrogestan, said: ‘We are experiencing exceptional demand for Utrogestan 100mg capsules which means that our supplies occasionally become depleted for short durations. Further supplies will be delivered in the coming days and weeks.’
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