Around 15% of women aged 45-64 in England are currently prescribed HRT (Picture: Getty Images)
Hundreds of thousands of women can get cheaper hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in ‘a major step forward in prioritising their health and wellbeing’.
Those prescribed HRT as part of menopause treatment will be able to access a new scheme that offers a year’s worth of treatment for just under £20 from April 1.
The cost-cutting drive could save someone up to £205 – with each prescription for HRT priced at £9.35 at the moment.
If a woman requires two types of hormones, this can be £18.70, and these prices need to be paid once a month, or every three months.
A prescription pre-payment certificate for HRT will be valid for 12 months, and there is no limit on how many times it can be used in this time.
People who use the scheme can get a list of HRT prescription items, including patches, tablets and topical preparations.
The move has been named ’an important first step in addressing the challenges and inequalities faced in accessing menopause care and treatment’.
Around 15% of women aged 45-64 in England are currently prescribed HRT, according to Department of Health figures.
It is estimated that cheaper HRT will benefit around 400,000 women facing a range of symptoms like hot flushes and vaginal dryness.
Women will be able to apply for the pre-payment certificate through the NHS Business Services Authority or in person at a pharmacy registered to sell the certificates.
The announcement today follows the publication of the government’s women’s health strategy for England last summer.
Minister for Women Maria Caulfield said: ‘Around three-quarters of women will experience menopause symptoms, with one-quarter experiencing severe symptoms, which can seriously impact their quality of life.
‘Reducing the cost of HRT is a huge moment for improving women’s health in this country, and I am proud to be announcing this momentous step forward.
Kim Jong-un’s sister issues ‘firing range’ warning before another missile launch
‘In our Women’s Health Strategy, we made menopause a top priority – by making HRT more accessible, we’re delivering on our commitment to women.’
Commenting on the new scheme, Dame Lesley Regan, the Government’s women’s health ambassador, said it is ‘a major step forward in prioritising the health and wellbeing of women’.
Cost can be one of the barriers that women face in accessing treatment to manage their symptoms during menopause, Dr Ranee Thakar, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, added.
She said: ’This announcement is an important first step, and we hope that more will be done to address the challenges and inequalities faced in accessing menopause care and treatment.’