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Hormone replacement therapy: Northern Ireland shortage 'distressing' for women


The shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in Northern Ireland is distressing for women and challenging for pharmacies trying to access it, according to a community pharmacist.

Loretto McManus advised women to leave plenty of time for ordering their prescriptions.

The Health and Social Care Board said there were "some treatments which are currently experiencing supply issues".

HRT helps many women control their often difficult menopausal symptoms. There is a national shortage of HRT with officials citing several reasons including manufacturing delays, an increase in demand and possibly Brexit.

Ms McManus said certain products were out of stock in pharmacies across Northern Ireland and that this was "distressing" for women who have become used to particular treatments.

"As a community pharmacist the utmost care of our patients is premium to us," she said. "Trying to source the prescribed product in a timely manner for the patient can be challenging."

Several women have told BBC News NI that they were being offered substitutes or had to source the medication themselves.

Kathryn Schreuder, part of a Northern Ireland menopause support group, said: "For a lot of women, their concern is, if their medication isn't available and they have just maybe spent six months to a year getting the right level of what they need, for that suddenly to be changed because of the limitation of what is available is very distressing."

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Source: BBC News, 7 November 2021

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