The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has expressed its disappointment over the recent announcement by pharmacy minister Maria Caulfield postponing the prepayment scheme for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
In October 2021, the government announced that women in England would only have to pay one charge of £18.70 for up to a 12-month supply of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Caulfield recently confirmed that the move would not be enacted until April 2023.
RPS previously called for a reduction in inequalities in women’s health, including access and availability to medicines.
Thorrun Govind, chair of RPS in England, responded: “This is disappointing news. Delaying this move will frustrate many who already pay for monthly HRT prescriptions and will further drive health inequalities already experienced by women across the country.
“Women experiencing the menopause need support to stay well and remain in the workplace. For some, HRT prescriptions are an essential part of this but also a financial drain during a cost of living crisis.
“We believe everyone should have access to the medicines they need, regardless of ability to pay, and will continue to call on the Government to scrap prescription charges in England altogether.”
Prescriptions for HRT have more than doubled in England over the past five years, from 238,000 in January 2017 to almost 538,000 in December 2021.