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Women struggling to ‘sleep and work competently’ amid England’s HRT shortages

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Women are being left unable to sleep or work competently because of the shortages of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products used to treat symptoms of the menopause, the former cabinet minister, Caroline Nokes, has said.

Millions of women go through the menopause every year, with many experiencing symptoms that can be severe, such as low mood, anxiety, hot flushes and difficulty sleeping, and have a negative impact on everyday life. The number of prescriptions for HRT in England has doubled in the last five years to more than 500,000 a month.

But the rise in prescriptions has come amid several years of HRT shortages, with pharmacists often unable to fulfil prescriptions. Shortages have been blamed on manufacturing and supply issues, and have been exacerbated by the growing numbers of women seeking the products.

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, Nokes, chair of the women and equalities committee, called for an urgent debate on the issue to ensure women “can get the supplies that we need”.

In October, the government announced that the cost of repeat prescriptions for HRT would be significantly reduced in England.

In the Commons on Thursday, Labour MP Nick Smith asked Spencer why there was “no date yet for the HRT prescription changes in England”. Spencer said it was “something the health secretary is looking at, at this moment in time”.

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Source: The Guardian, 21 April 2022

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