Major HRT providers have said they are preparing to bring in products as a short-term solution while aiming to address longer-term supply issues.
More than one million women in Britain currently use some form of HRT, which helps treat symptoms of menopause by boosting oestrogen and other hormones.
The shortage is being blamed on increased demand due to media coverage about menopause and generalised supply chain issues.
Now, providers of the medication say they are “looking at all options for increasing short-term supplies.”
Theramex – who manufacture around 12 different HRT drugs including Bijuva pills and Femseven patches – say they’re working to get special permission to bring in products from France.
Tina Backhouse, the general UK manager at Theramex, told The Guardian they are working with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to gain this permission.
“We are looking for short-term solutions as well as longer-term solutions in terms of bringing other products from other countries in,” she said.
The shortages have mainly affected the supply of Oestogel – one of the most popular HRT medications manufactured by Besins Healthcare. A representative for the company said they are “looking at all options for increasing short-term supplies of Oestrogel into the UK”.
Doctors and women’s health experts have welcomed the new short-term solution and more governmental support amidst the shortage.
Dr Shirin Lakhani, a doctor and women’s health advocate, said: “The symptoms of the menopause can be debilitating and include anxiety and insomnia. So many women rely on HRT and have been struggling to get certain medicines.
“HRT is not a luxury but it is treated as one. There is a perception that it’s not a big deal if you don’t take HRT for a bit but that is very wrong. The impact on a woman’s mental health is huge.
“We need to listen to women.”
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