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12 SSPs for HRT products extended as supply woes continue

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) will remain in place on a raft of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products until the end of October, as supply chain disruption continues to bite.

Twelve SSPs will remain in place until October 28 on the drugs Ovestin, Oestrogel, Lenzetto and Sandrena, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced in a contractor update last week (July 28).

Each protocol specifies whether pharmacists are allowed to restrict the quantify of the product supplied, substitute the product with a specific alternative, or a mixture of the two. More guidance can be found on the NHSBSA website.

Read more: HRT: Pharmacists can restrict quantity or substitute products under 10 new SSPs

It comes after 10 SSPs for HRT drugs were announced in May, following ongoing supply disruption to HRT products in recent months.

Pharmacists have reported women travelling miles from their usual pharmacies to get the drugs they need, while others have complained that SSPs are pointless if they cannot get hold of the drug in the first place.

In June, the manufacturer Besins announced it had bought a new site in Belgium to help boost its supply of HRT products such as Oestrogel to the UK.

Menawhile, in May, then health secretary Sajid Javid meeting with pharmacists to hear their suggestions for “wider solutions” to the availability crisis.

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