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New scheme will provide a year of HRT for price of two prescription charges

The new prescription prepayment certificate will allow women to receive a year’s worth of HRT for the cost of two single NHS prescription charges

A new government scheme will enable women to access a year’s worth of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for less than £20.

The new prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) launches on 1 April 2023 and will allow women to receive a year’s worth of HRT for the cost of two single NHS prescription charges (currently £18.70).

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The certificate will be valid for 12 months and can be used against a list of HRT prescription items including; Bedol, Clinorette and Evorel.

Patients can use the HRT PPC against an unlimited number of HRT items and there is no limit to how many times the certificate can be used while it is valid.

Around 15% of women aged 45 to 64 are currently prescribed HRT in England which has increased by 2% in the last two years.

Minister for women, Maria Caufield said: ‘ Around three-quarters of women will experience menopause symptoms, with a quarter experiencing severe symptoms which can seriously impact their quality of life.’

‘In our Women’s Health Strategy, we made menopause a top priority. By making HRT more accessible, we’re delivering on our commitment to women.’

Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay said that the new PPC will help approximately 400,000 women save hundreds of pounds a year.

Janet Lindsay, CEO of Wellbeing of Women responded to the news saying: ‘HRT is a first line treatment for women who may need help with managing menopause symptoms which can be debilitating. Improving access to HRT, by reducing the prescription costs, is absolutely the right thing to do and will help to empower women during this life stage.’

The HRT PPC is in addition to existing prescription charges which include the three and 12 month PPCs.

There have recently been HRT shortages with the British Menopause Society publishing an update on HRT supply on 9 February , stating that prescribers should consider using equivalent preparations to those that their patients are currently using.

The government have said they engage with suppliers on a weekly basis and closely monitor the supply of HRT and regularly meet with individual suppliers as well as hosting quarterly roundtables with industry to ensure a continuous supply of HRT.