Following reports in the media about the availability of HRT products, I have been in contact with the Department of Health & Social Care to find out what is really going on.

There have been ongoing issues throughout 2019 affecting some HRT preparations due to manufacturing issues.

As a result of these disruptions, the Department of Health & Social Care have been working closely with all suppliers of HRT products and have shared all relevant information about competitor out of stock periods to help other suppliers to support additional demand.

Although some HRT products are temporarily unavailable, the Government can confirm that supplies of a variety of other HRT preparations remain available. This includes both oestrogen only HRT preparations (oral tablets, transdermal patches and gels) and estradiol/ progestogen combination products marketed as tablets and transdermal patches.

As there are several different brands and formulations available, it does mean that clinicians should be able to switch patients to alternative HRT products that contain the same active ingredients.

Although HRT products are considered interchangeable, patient familiarity and preference with a particular brand is common and some patients will report issues with symptom management when switching and therefore may require monitoring.

The Government is continuing to work directly with all suppliers of the affected and alternative products. Several brands have recently just come back into stock over the past week, which should help improve the situation.