Pharmacies in Romsey and Southampton North have ‘completely run out’ of some hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products, leaving women ‘unable to work or sleep’, an MP has claimed.

Caroline Nokes, chairman of the Women and Equalities Committee, raised the issue of pharmacies in her constituency having 'completely' running out of oestrogen gel in the House of Commons yesterday (21 April).

The Tory minster called on the House to ensure that pharmacies ‘work hand in glove’ with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) so women ‘can get the supplies [they] need’.

Without access to HRT, many women are left unable to ‘sleep and work competently,’ she added.

Mark Spencer, the Commons leader, responded by saying the DHSC was 'aware of the supply issues' and that the Government was working to resolve them 'as quickly as possible'.

He also assured the House that he would ‘raise the issue with the secretary of state for health and social care’.

The UK shortage of oestrogen gel has previously been attributed to an increase in media coverage of menopause and the circulation of social media posts.

This comes after prescription data, published last month, suggested HRT prescriptions had doubled over the last five years.

Last year, the Government announced it would be launching a single annual prepayment for HRT.

The scheme, which some thought was meant to begin ‘within months’, was first announced in October 2021 and has the potential to save individuals up to £205 by enabling women to pay one charge for a 12-month supply of HRT.

Some in the pharmacy sector had previously told The Pharmacist that the Government's new proposal could be a ‘nightmare’ for pharmacy teams if not implemented correctly.