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Title Continuing shortage of HRT
Date 19 August 2019
Full Story A significant national shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was described as "incredibly concerning" by GPs.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society said it was: "Worrying and frustrating," for patients.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it was aware of the problem and was working closely with suppliers to maintain availability to patients.

Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), said in a statement: "It's not entirely clear why there is currently a shortage of these HRT drugs – it seems as though there are several factors at play – or how long it'll last, but it is already having a massive impact on our patients' lives, and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency so that patients across the UK are able to continue accessing the care and treatment they need and deserve."

Supply and manufacturing problems

The British Menopause Society (BMS) said some of the supply problems were down to manufacturing shortages, while others were related to supply issues.

On 9 August 2019, it listed products which it said were currently unavailable. These included:

·Evorel patches (Janssen - estradiol) most of which could remain out of stock until the autumn. It said the manufacturer had indicated that shortages were caused by an unusual increase in demand.
·Mylan was experiencing shortages of Elleste Solo: 2mg oestradiol; Elleste Duet 1mg oestradiol + 1mg norethisterone acetate; Elleste Duet Conti 2mg oestradiol + 1mg norethisterone; Femoston 1mg oestradiol + 10mg dydrogesterone; Zumenon 1mg oestradiol and 2mg oestradiol; Elleste Solo MX patches 40mcg transdermal oestradiol; Elleste Solo MX patches 80mcg transdermal oestradiol
·Estraderm MX 50 (Novartis) patches (pack of 8) were available but in short supply.

For equivalent doses, see the decision tree.

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