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Regulatory changes could allow women to access HRT in community pharmacy without prescription

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Britain’s health regulator is poised to announce that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will be made available over the counter for the first time, the Daily Telegraph has revealed.

The newspaper first reported on Tuesday (February 1) that watchdogs were set to propose a reclassification of the medication so women are able to access it in a pharmacy without a prescription.

Every year, some 1.5 million women experience difficult menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbance and a variety of emotional problems. But only a tenth of them are prescribed HRT, following a consultation with a GP or specialist.

According to the newspaper, the latest proposal aims to improve convenience so that women are able to access HRT more easily, without needing a GP appointment.

It comes after a long campaign — championed by celebrities including Penny Lancaster and Davina McCall — to reduce cost and improve access to HRT.

The latest changes may still require a consultation with a pharmacist in the same way a contraceptive pill is purchased over the counter.

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