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Question ref. S6W-08434
Asked by: Siobhian Brown, Ayr, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 10 May 2022

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to mitigate the reported shortage of (a) the product, Estradot, and (b) other hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products, and what specific measures are in place to help women in the (i) short and (ii) long term.

Current status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 23 May 2022


Answer

Supply issues with Estradot® patches in the UK are now resolved, with all strengths available.

Any disruption in the availability of HRT products will be concerning to those who have been prescribed them. We recommend anyone who is affected by the disruption and experiencing difficulties in obtaining their prescribed medication to discuss alternative treatment options with their doctor in the first instance. Shortages of medicines are not an uncommon occurrence and the NHS has robust systems in place to manage them when they arise. The supply and pricing of medicines is reserved to the UK Government and we continue to press them to seek a lasting resolution to HRT supply issues as quickly as possible.

Shortages of medicines are not an uncommon occurrence and the NHS has robust systems in place to manage them when they arise. There is regular monitoring of supply issues, escalating when necessary to a UK Medicine Shortages Response Group, which is clinically-led and provides advice to clinicians on alternative therapeutic options. The Scottish Government issued three UK wide Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) effective from Friday 29 April 2022 and due to expire on 29 July 2022. The SSPs will enable community pharmacists to supply patients with no more than three months’ supply of medicine helping preserve stock holdings and ensure more patients have access to their prescribed medicines. Three products covered by the SSPs are Oestrogel® pump pack; Ovestin® cream; Premique®.

In response to the recent disruptions in the supply of some HRT medicines and the creation of a new HRT Taskforce, The Minister for Public Health, Woman’s Health and Sport wrote to the Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Patient Safety and Primary Care on 12 May 2022, seeking assurances that the UKG are taking all necessary action to resolve current supply issues and the HRT Task Force formed by DHSC will work constructively with the Scottish Government and other Devolved Administrations.