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HRT to be shipped from Poland to tackle UK shortage

By Furvah Shah
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products could be delivered from Poland and other European countries from next week to address the UK’s shortage.

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”.

‘We’re looking for short and long-term solutions’ say HRT providers. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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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Dive Deeper:
HRT products could be sent to UK from mainland Europe next week
Regulator expected to consent to import of hormone replacement pills and patches from France
Doctor issues warning over menopause drug mistakes as women face shortage
The GP says women should not try two common hacks to replace their missing meds
‘This is scandalous’: Superdrug accused of ‘cashing in’ after launching £99 perimenopause screenings
‘A high street store trying to take advantage of the increased profile that the menopause has had,’ says MP
There’s no such thing as a textbook menopause – and taking HRT isn’t ‘cheating’
Too many people think they have the right to tell you how to do the menopause. If HRT works for…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
New tablet to treat fibroids will be offered to thousands of women on NHS
About one in three women aged 16 to 50 are affected by the condition
Hay fever hacks from Dr Hilary Jones as UK faces medication shortages
High street stores are being hit by a shortage of Piriton but Dr Hilary said Brits shouldn't panic
Get all your news in one place