Health Secretary meets with HRT suppliers to resolve supply issues

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid met with key suppliers to discuss boosting hormone replacement therapy (HRT) supply to meet rising demand. 

HRT can be a ‘lifeline’ for women suffering from severe menopause symptoms, according to the Women’s Health Minister Maria Caulfield.

However, rising demand has contributed to supply challenges, with other factors related to manufacturing, capacity constraints and commercial decisions potentially worsening the problem.

The Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid reiterated his commitment to address HRT supply issues when he and Madelaine McTernan, head of the HRT supply taskforce, met with representatives from the supply, wholesale, and community pharmacy sector.

oral contraceptive pill on blue panel

Meeting with Aspen Pharmacare, Besins-Healthcare, Gedeon Richter, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Orion, Pfizer, Theramex, Viatris, and representatives from community pharmacies, the government confirmed its intention to work with industry to do what is necessary to fix the HRT supply issue and listen to the experiences from industry and community pharmacy representatives and what they think needs to be done to improve the current situation for patients.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘I want to continue to reassure women that I am listening to their concerns.  Meeting with key stakeholders and suppliers is one of many steps we are taking to ensure women can access the HRT they need. 

‘We will leave no stone unturned in our national mission to boost supply of HRT. Along with appointing Madelaine McTernan as head of the HRT supply taskforce to implement lessons learned from the pandemic, and ensuring prescriptions are issued in shorter cycles for now, we are working collectively with the sector to urgently resolve this issue.’

Head of the HRT Supply Taskforce Madelaine McTernan added: ‘The collaborative and constructive discussions today focused on what action can be taken swiftly to improve the near term situation as well as ensuring longer term changes to ensure these key products can continue to be delivered reliably and efficiently.

‘I was heartened by the positive input from all attendees and look forward to building on this.’

In related news, the Health and Care Act received Royal Assent last week, but it does little to address the major pressures on care services right now, warns the Health Foundation.

Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition


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