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HRT SHORTAGE, what do we know and what we can expect

Recently in the news there is some quite alarming information about HRT shortages in the UK. I guess one of the most important pieces of information has been given to us by Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs. She told in an interview to BBC Radio that the reasons for the shortages are still unclear. Which does not make me feel any better.

What do we know?

“We know that there are the generic phrases like ‘supply issues’ and ‘manufacturing problems,’” she declared to BBC Radio, then she went on to say “But because it’s commercially sensitive… nobody will be honest with the public and the NHS. So, it’s frustrating.” This information already is not very helpful. So, we don’t really know why this is happening, but this problem started some time ago and I hoped it would have been solved by now, but I was wrong. The most common types of HRT are falling short, leaving a lot of women unprepared to face the situation.

Moreover, Stokes-Lampard added that it’s not known how long the shortage will continue for. And this is what scares me, because without any alternative, solution needs to be found quickly. Menopause is already a situation of great stress, having this on top doesn’t help. For many women HRT are pivotal to keep night sweats, mood swing and anxiety under a bearable level, without even thinking about women in the workplace.

Let’s see which ones are already out of stock and which are not, and let’s see how we can face this situation. Bearing in mind that measurements will be taken for sure, it is probably wise to buy stocks of the HRT you are using right now.

This list of available HRT has been kindly given to us from Dr Louise Newson, who is a menopause specialist. She is working with “The Independent Pharmacy”. They have advised us the following availability:

• Androfeme – in stock

• Duavive – in stock

• Elleste (all tablets and patches) – Duet 2mg and Duet Conti in stock only

• Estraderm MX (all strengths) – in stock

• Evorel (all patches, Conti & Sequi) – in stock

• Femoston (all types) – in stock

• Femseven patches – in stock

• Femseven Sequi & Conti – out of stock

• Indivina (all strengths) – in stock

• Oestrogel – in stock

• Premarin (all strengths) – in stock

• Premique Low Dose – in stock

• Progynova (1mg & 2mg tabs) – in stock

• Utrogestan – in stock

So, for the time being, you can search if there is any availability online for your specific type of HRT if it is already out stock. Second, it could be a good occasion to see if there is another therapy that works for you, even though I know, once you find what works for you, it is so hard to change.

Why is this shortage happening in the first place?

Suppliers said that the problems are related to manufacturing shortages, while others are related to supply issues. British menopause society has been reassured that these shortages are only temporary. Pharmaceutical companies and their suppliers are currently trying to resolve in the quickest time possible. Some people are blaming Brexit as well. Let’s stick to facts: what we know is that we are running short of HRT, what we don’t know is for how long.