HRT product could be available over the counter
A form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could be made available over the counter depending on the outcome of a consultation.
Women would be able to access the product in a pharmacy without a prescription instead of going to their GP.
It’s not yet clear which product the UK medicines regulator plans to reclassify.
HRT is used to treat menopause symptoms – 150,000 women have prescriptions.
In October, it was announced that the cost of repeat prescriptions for HRT would be significantly reduced in England.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We understand that for some women, menopause symptoms can have a significant impact on their quality of life, and we are committed to improving the care and support they receive.”
“We understand that for some women, menopause symptoms can have a significant impact on their quality of life, and we are committed to improving the care and support they receive.”
As part of its Women’s Health Strategy, improving access to HRT would be a priority, it added.
Dr Paula Briggs, a consultant in sexual and reproductive health at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, told the BBC that making HRT available over the counter would be “a good thing to do”. But she said it needed to be done carefully, by ensuring education for pharmacists and women on accessing the right treatments.
She also said pharmacists should be able to access patients’ medical records to check their history before advising on a treatment.
- What does the menopause do to the body?
- Menopause ‘made me feel I was disappearing’
- HRT prescription cost cut welcomed by campaigners
HRT replaces the hormones that are missing during the menopause and relieves symptoms, such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleeping problems, brain fog and mood changes.
It is available as tablets, skin patches, gels and pessaries.
Some types of HRT slightly increase the risk of breast cancer and blood clots in some women, but the risks are small and usually outweighed by the benefits, NHS advice says.
Comments are closed.