Women will be able to pick up the hormone replacement without a prescription in a groundbreaking move.
At current, hormone replacement therapy – HRT – has to be prescribed in the UK, but in groundbreaking news today, it looks set to be sold over the counter for the first time ever.
Until now, you have to see a GP or specialist for a consultation prior to being able to access the medicine, which can be pivotal in helping women deal with their menopause symptoms.
Stats show that around 150,000 women in the UK are prescribed HRT at current despite 1.5 million women going through menopause every year.
It’s thought that many women would take the medication if they didn’t have to visit their GP beforehand.
Menopause symptoms span hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbance, and more.
Sadly, only one in ten women going through menopause have been given access to the treatment, which minimises the main symptoms associated with it.
Britain’s health regulator, according to The Daily Telegraph, is now set to reclassify the drug, meaning pharmacists will be able to sell it over the counter and women will no longer need a prescription.
This is because one (now debunked) study from 2001 found that HRT could be linked to higher risk of breast cancer, and it’s widely concluded that the benefits now outweigh any associated risks.
This comes as the price of HRT is also lowered after a lengthy campaign.
There have been mixed reactions to the news, with most charities calling it a “good thing”. Others have expressed concern over women “self-diagnosing” their need for the medication.
However, given how many women are now vocally sharing with their struggles with menopause – including an undeniable and unacceptable link between menopause and job loss – it’s time the gender health gap was addressed and change was implemented.
HRT is commonly sold as a tablet, skin patch, gel, or cream, as this breakdown of Davina’s perimenopause treatment explains. It works by boosting your body’s hormone levels which naturally drop during menopause.
At current, a woman has to pay £19 a month for an HRT prescription, but this looks set to change to around £19 annually, as mentioned.
So, should HRT be available over the counter or should you need to visit a GP to get a prescription?