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HRT patches ‘out of stock’ as DH issues six medicine shortage notifications

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) has issued six new medicine supply notifications, including for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) patches.

Three kinds of HRT drug estradiol (Estradot) are all affected by supply issues, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced on Friday (February 3).

Estradiol (Estradot®) 25microgram/24hours patches and 100microgram/24hours patches are both “out of stock” until the week commencing February 13, it said.

And estradiol (Estradot®) 50microgram/24hours patches are also “out of stock” until the week commencing February 20, it added.

“An alternative brand of estradiol patches, Evorel®, of the same respective strengths remain available and can support a full uplift in demand,” the PSNC notice said.

Read more: ‘Significant ongoing disruption’: DH issues two new SSPs for HRT

It comes as pharmacists continue to endure HRT supply problems, after the drugs were in and out of stock throughout last year.

Last month, the DH issued two new HRT SSPs for Estradot 50mcg and 100mcg patches among “significant ongoing disruption”, which are due to expire on February 17.

The DH also extended three SSPs for HRT drug Sandrena 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets until February 28, although two SSPs for HRT Estraderm MX 100mcg and 75mcg patches expired at the same time.


Other medicines in short supply


The DH also issued five further medicine shortage notifications on Friday, according to PSNC, covering treatments for insomnia, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, skin lesions and travel sickness.

It said:

  • Zopiclone 3.75mg tablets are “out of stock” from January 30 until mid-February
  • Fluoxetine 20mg/5ml oral solution is “in limited supply until March” and fluoxetine (Olena) 20mg dispersible tablets are “out of stock until further notice”
  • Sulfasalazine (Salazopyrin) 500mg suppositories are “out of stock” from February 6 until the week commencing March 20
  • Imiquimod (Aldara 5% and Bascellex 50mg/g) cream are “out of stock” until mid-March and early March respectively
  • Hyoscine hydrobromide (Kwells Kids) 150mcg and (Kwells) 300mcg tablets are “out of stock” until February 15

Last month, the DH extended all eight SSPs in place for penicillin until February 28 as supply issues with the antibiotic persist.

And health minister Will Quince said that the government intends “to work ever closer” with wholesalers to “increase the resilience” of the UK’s medicines supply chain.

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