British Menopause Society further update on HRT supply shortages (20th June 2020)

British Menopause Society further update on HRT supply shortages (20th June 2020)

British Menopause Society further update on HRT supply shortages (20th June 2020)

 

The British Menopause Society has issued this further update on the current availability of HRT products to provide guidance to BMS members and clinical practitioners in response to the ongoing HRT shortages.

Please note that Pfizer is recalling Duavive from the UK market. This is further detailed where the Pfizer HRT products are referred to in this document. 

We recognise that many women are likely to experience difficulties in obtaining HRT supplies due to the current coronavirus situation. We also appreciate that continuing HRT intake is likely to help many women control their often difficult menopausal symptoms, particularly relevant given the additional stress some women may be under in view of the strains of the current situation on society. In addition, General Practitioners’ surgeries have also been put under additional pressure, with consultations and advice prioritised to dealing with serious and potentially life-threatening medical issues.

We recommend that Healthcare Professionals and prescribers follow the joint guidance issued by the BMS, RCOG, RCGP and FSRH which recommends that General Practitioners and healthcare providers consider advising women about menopause issues through telephone and virtual consultations where at all possible to reduce face to face engagement, and with easy access to repeat prescriptions of HRT supplies (especially to women who have been on HRT and have not been experiencing any problems with their intake). This will help to avoid the need for many women to visit their GP surgery to discuss these issues and assist with obtaining repeat prescriptions. This can be accessed through the following link:https://thebms.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Framework-for-restoration-of-menopause-services-2020.pdf

The BMS has produced a document on alternative HRT preparations in response to the ongoing HRT shortages to provide guidance to BMS members and clinical practitioners who may be experiencing difficulties with HRT supplies. This can be accessed through the following link: https://thebms.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/HRT-alternatives-04.11.2019.pdf

Prescribers should consider equivalent preparations to that which their patients are using. If an exact match is not possible, prescribers can seek guidance available on the BMS document on alternative HRT preparations and the practical prescribing chart on the BMS website and Menopause Matters website, to clarify equivalent doses. Consideration could also be given to prescribing estrogen and progestogen separately to make the closest match or find a suitable alternative. Different brands for the same medication may vary in appearance or excipients. However, they would provide equivalent amounts of hormones when used in similar doses.

Signposting could also be provided to resources on the BMS website as well as Women’s Health Concern (WHC) website, Menopause Matters and the Primary Care Women’s Health Forum (PCWHF).

BMS members can post prescribing queries on the BMS forum if any clarifications are required.

The information on stock availability and supplies below was obtained from the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing these products. We are not in a position to comment on availability at wholesale suppliers’ level and appreciate that availability from wholesale suppliers may lag behind and thus sometimes vary from the information provided by the manufacturers.

Click here to see information on stock availability and supplies 

Haitham Hamoda

Chairman, British Menopause Society