The Government plans to reduce the cost of HRT prescriptions and launch a new Menopause Taskforce, to better support women experiencing menopause
Following commitments made in Parliament at the second reading of Carolyn Harris MP’s private members’ bill, the Government will work with NHS England to provide cheaper and easier access to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), to relieve symptoms of the menopause.
In line with NICE guidelines, the Government will look to implement longer prescribing cycles so that women will receive fewer prescriptions, in turn reducing the frequency of prescription charges. This could mean that women would pay one charge for up to a 12-month supply of HRT, with a potential saving of up to £205 per year.
Under current rules, HRT is sometimes classed as two medicines if it contains both oestrogen and progesterone, meaning women may be charged twice for one course of treatment. To further improve access to HRT, the Government will also consider combining two hormone treatments into one prescription, which affects approximately 10% of women accessing HRT.
Minister for Women’s Health, Maria Caulfield, said: ‘We have heard loud and clear from women across the country and MPs that menopause support is a key issue we as a government need to do more to address.
‘As a woman and a nurse, I am acutely aware of how challenging the symptoms of the menopause can be to live with.
‘Cutting the cost of HRT—which can be a lifeline to women severely impacted by menopause—is a great stride forward, but there is more to do.’
A new Menopause Taskforce
A new cross-government Menopause Taskforce will be established alongside the development of the first Women’s Health Strategy for England. It is to be co-chaired by the Minister for Women’s Health and Carolyn Harris MP. The taskforce will consider the role education and training, workplace policies, and peer groups can play in supporting women through menopause.
Carolyn Harris MP said: ‘The cost of HRT NHS prescriptions will be slashed—with the government committing to working towards getting this down to a single prescription charge per year—and the new taskforce will look at all the other areas of support which are currently falling short and failing women.
‘I look forward to working with the minister to revolutionise menopause support in this country, and being world leaders in changing the narrative on something that has been a taboo subject for far too long.’
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