HRT shortage in UK expected to continue until next year

Around half of HRT products have been reported as out of stock in UK pharmacies due to supply issues in China, leading to a shortage.

A shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the UK has led medical experts to call for a resolution. According to the experts, the shortage is causing difficulties for thousands of women.

Approximately half of the most commonly prescribed HRT products are currently out of stock in many pharmacies. Doctors have also reported that the therapies were becoming difficult to prescribe. Evorel and Elleste, two of the most popular products, have been affected by the shortages. 

Issues reportedly began in 2018 when the supply chain in China faced problems, causing some manufacturers to cease making HRT patches. This resulted in rising demands for other brands, which in turn became scarce.

“The British Menopause Society (BMS) has advised prescribers to find equivalent types by looking at the oestrogen and progestogen component and matching it as closely as possible to another brand,” said Haitham Hamoda, chair of the BMS.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced it is aware of the ongoing supply issues. A spokesperson said: “We are working closely with all suppliers to maintain overall flow of medicines to patients.”

The shortages are expected to continue until next year.

2 responses to “HRT shortage in UK expected to continue until next year”

  1. Andrea says:

    There needs to be greater awareness and training with GP’s about these current issues. GPs should offer women access to specialists in HRT where they struggle to understand how to make the right changes to prescriptions created by the issue of shortage of HRT across the UK and having to frequently change a patients prescription owing to the problem. This should be backed up and supported
    with ongoing monitoring via blood tests.
    Having been diagnosed with early post menopause at 42 I have had to fight and pay private to get a level of service and prognosis that should be accessible via my GP. Since being diagnosed last year I have had 5 change overs of prescription because of the situation concerning manufacturing and distribution which is getting worse. As a full time working women suffering the side effects such as Chronic insomnia and brain fog and pains can be extremely debilitating. This is not helped when it is impossible to find a single HRT prescription for more than 3 months before it runs into manufacturing and distribution issues.There needs to be more done to support women and greater access to advice and support which is not being delivered by GPs.


    One example of the West’s dependency on China supplies. A reality that we cannot ignore, calls to boycott China goods ignore the fact that Europe, the US and most of the world have counted on China as a supplier of goods. Thus, the US and other countries do not have in the infrastructure needed to manufacture many of those products coming from China. Hence a trade war may carry serious consequences for our own countries when the supply of medicines and other critical products from China dry out.

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