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Hormone Replacement Therapy

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 132548, tabled on 25 January 2023

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has taken recent steps with suppliers of hormone replacement therapy products to (a) monitor and (b) improve the supply of those products in all regions.

Answered on

1 February 2023

There are over 70 hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products available in the United Kingdom and while most remain in good supply, a range of factors including an increase in demand has led to supply issues with a limited number of products.

Access to in-demand products has improved since we issued Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) on HRT products to limit dispensing to three months’ supply to even out distribution and allow alternative products to be dispensed, as necessary. 19 SSP’s for HRT products have been issued since April 2022, and a much smaller number of SSP’s remain in place as the supply position of several products affected by short term supply issues have been resolved.

We continue to work with suppliers and other stakeholders such as the National Health Service and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to maintain overall HRT supply to patients across the UK, including working to expedite resupply dates of the disrupted HRT products to resolve issues as soon as possible and to help fill supply gaps and prevent future shortages. We hold quarterly industry roundtables involving suppliers, wholesalers and community pharmacists to monitor the position and discuss actions being taken.

We regularly share communications about shortages and discontinuations with the NHS and have issued a number of communications about HRT supply issues to date. We have updated supply information about all HRT products, including those currently affected by supply issues, on the Specialist Pharmacy Services Medicine Supply Tool for NHS staff, including GPs, to access.