Sun. Jun 26th, 2022

HRT will be sold over the counter for first time so women can obtain medication without prescription

  • Until now, HRT has only been accessible after consultation with GP or specialist
  • Health watchdogs are now set to propose reclassifying the medication
  • It will allow women to get the medication from a pharmacy without a prescription
  • Around 150,000 women are currently prescribed the treatment in different forms 


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Hormone replacement therapy is set to be made available over the counter for the first time in a proposed move likely to prove popular with women struggling with the menopause.

Every year, around 1.5 million women experience difficult post-menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and sleep disturbance.

But, until now, the medication has only been accessible after consultation with a GP or specialist.

Health watchdogs are now set to propose reclassifying the medication so women can get it from a pharmacy without a prescription, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Health watchdogs are now set to propose reclassifying the medication so women can get it from a pharmacy without a prescription (stock image)

Health watchdogs are now set to propose reclassifying the medication so women can get it from a pharmacy without a prescription (stock image)

Health watchdogs are now set to propose reclassifying the medication so women can get it from a pharmacy without a prescription (stock image)

HRT works by increasing levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones in the body, which are lower during the menopausal period. Around 150,000 women are currently prescribed the treatment in the form of tablets, gels, creams or patches.

Haitham Hamoda, the chairman of the British Menopause Society, said: ‘Improving access to HRT is a good thing but it is really important that women can access all the help and advice they need.

‘It’s great that there is so much conversation about menopause now, and people are far more open about it. But we don’t want this to come down to a question of self-diagnosis – it’s really important that those thinking about starting HRT get the right information.’

The news comes after a lengthy campaign to improve access to HRT and reduce the cost for those who receive it on prescription.

The news comes after a lengthy campaign to improve access to HRT and reduce the cost for those who receive it on prescription (stock image)

The news comes after a lengthy campaign to improve access to HRT and reduce the cost for those who receive it on prescription (stock image)

The news comes after a lengthy campaign to improve access to HRT and reduce the cost for those who receive it on prescription (stock image)

In October, ministers announced that HRT costs would be cut by up to £200 a year – with costs of up to £19 a month replaced by one annual prescription for the same price. 

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care 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.’

The spokesman added that the menopause and improving access to HRT would be a ‘priority’ under the new Women’s Health Strategy, which is being developed.

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