Menopausal women continue to face shortages of some doses of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which has been attributed to “increased demand”.
On today’s World Menopause Day, a spokeswoman for the pharmaceutical company Novartis said there was a short-term supply problem with Estradot 37.5 mcg and 50 mcg doses of HRT, which relieve menopause symptoms.
Two more doses in the range are available in Ireland and ‘we are continuously monitoring the situation so we can ensure an adequate supply of our HRT medicine in Ireland,’ she said.
A spokeswoman for the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) said the company that makes the products said “several markets” were affected and a backorder of Evorel 50 mcg is expected later this month.
Kathy Maher, pharmacist and Chair of the Irish Pharmacy Union’s Pharmacy Contractors’ Committee, said: “The use of HRT medicines has increased and many more people are benefiting from these treatments. Shortages of certain HRT drugs in recent months have put those who rely on them in dire straits. Pharmacists work hard to find patient substitutes when needed and it is always worth discussing this with your pharmacist if you have any concerns.”
Staff shortages are also hampering the full roll-out of menopausal clinics at the National Maternity Hospital and Coombe Hospital in Dublin and Nenagh Hospital in Co Tipperary.
A fourth clinic opens today at Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital. A spokeswoman said it would operate one day a week.
“The clinic is fully equipped and consists of a multidisciplinary team including a consultant gynaecologist, general practitioner and menopause specialist, and an advanced nurse with support from trainee physicians and pelvic physiotherapists,” the spokeswoman said.
“Funding for this service development was provided through the National Infants and Women’s Program to provide the resources needed. The referrals are initially made by general practitioners in the catchment area.”
Yesterday it emerged that women can wait up to five months to be examined at the clinic at the National Maternity Hospital, which has struggled to find a nurse with the necessary experience. Coombe Hospital has yet to open its clinic.
Menopause clinics are also planned for Cork and Galway.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/hrt-shortage-causing-menopausal-women-major-distress-42074191.html HRT deficiency causes ‘major distress’ in menopausal women