The Government is looking to cut the cost of repeatable hormone replacement therapy (HRT) prescriptions by allowing women to pay a one-off prescription charge each year. 

It has asked NHS England to review current practice and the barriers to implementing NICE guidelines on longer prescribing cycles. A move which would save women who rely on HRT hundreds of pounds per year.

To further improve access to HRT prescriptions, the government has also committed to look into combining two hormone treatments into one prescription, which affects approximately 10% of women accessing HRT.

Further reading

Under current rules HRT is sometimes classed as two medicines if it contains both oestrogen and progesterone meaning women may be charged twice for one course of treatment.

New menopause taskforce

A new Menopause Taskforce, co-chaired by Minister for Women’s Health, Maria Caulfield and Carolyn Harris MP, has also been set up 

Minister for Women’s Health, Maria Caulfield, said: "We have heard loud and clear from women across the country and MPs that menopause support is a key issue we as a government need to do more to address.

"As a woman and a nurse, I am acutely aware of how challenging the symptoms of the menopause can be to live with. Cutting the cost of HRT – which can be a lifeline to women severely impacted by menopause – is a great stride forward, but there is more to do.

"I look forward to further addressing the menopause as part of the Women’s Health Strategy and working with Carolyn on improving support for women across the UK."

Early analysis of the Women’s Health Strategy call for evidence, which received the biggest ever response to a Department for Health and Social Care consultation with over 110,000 individual responses earlier this year, shows access to HRT and wider menopause support are key concerns for older women.

Menopause will form a central part of the first ever government-led Women’s Health Strategy, and will consider how to improve access to HRT including through education and training for clinicians on symptoms of the menopause and to ensure HRT is being prescribed to women who would benefit from it.

To further support women going through the menopause the Civil Service is developing its first workplace menopause policy to ensure women can continue to work to their full potential.

This work is part of the ongoing government commitment to drive women’s health to the top of the agenda, ensuring the health and care system works for everyone, and enabling women to live healthy, happy lives.