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Government to cut costs of HRT prescriptions

The Government have announced that costs of repeatable HRT prescriptions will be cut to aid women approaching or experiencing menopause.

Earlier this November, the Government announced they would take action against the impact of menopause and the crisis in prescriptions seen this year. Costs of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) will be cut to improve accessibility of needed treatment for millions of women across the UK.

A new government ‘Menopause Taskforce’ has also been announced, and this will be co-chaired by the Minister for Women’s Health, Maria Caulfield and Labour MP Carolyn Harris, a champion for menopause awareness and the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Menopause.

HRT treats menopause symptoms by replacing hormones that are at a lower level for those experiencing it. It works by replacing the hormone, oestrogen, which a woman’s body stops producing when they go through menopause.

Currently, a prescription for HRT costs £9.35 – or £18.70 if a woman needs two types of hormones. This is often only provided on a short-term basis, meaning that the cost has to be paid regularly, once a month or every three months.

According to the BBC – under the new government proposal, HRT prescriptions will be made available on an annual basis, meaning that someone only needs to pay the prescription charge once a year. This could reduce the cost by between £90 and £200.

HRT crisis

Throughout this year, women experiencing menopause have seen significant supply chain shortages and delay of prescriptions – leaving millions unable to access the treatment they need. The impacts on patients was severe, with reports of women feeling suicidal alongside worsened symptoms such as hot flushes and anxiety.

The Government has been under pressure to act, establishing a ‘HRT Tsar’ earlier this year. However, accessibility to treatments has not improved. The new taskforce and commitment to reduces prescription costs will therefore be a welcomed development.

On this development, Carolyn Harris MP commented: “Today is a result for women across the country. The bill was never about wins for either side of the political divide – it was about wins for the 51% of the population who will directly experience the menopause.

“The cost of HRT NHS prescriptions will be slashed – with the government committing to working towards getting this down to a single prescription charge per year – and the new task force will look at all the other areas of support which are currently falling short and failing women.”

The Civil Service is also currently developing its first workplace menopause policy to further support women going through the menopause.

Menopause awareness

Last month we saw the national menopause awareness campaign, aiming to bring the issue of menopause and the impact of patients to the forefront of conversation. We were delighted to team with our partners, IQVIA, to bring a rich conversation with leaders in this space – including champion MP, Carolyn Harris.

To watch our conversations with NHS and industry leaders, and the founder of Menopause Support see below.

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