- Campaign by TV personality Davina McCall has helped increase awareness
Almost 11million menopause prescriptions were handed out in the past year — after a Daily Mail campaign calling for greater access to treatments.
There was a 47 per cent increase in prescriptions for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) compared with 2021-22, official figures show.
HRT helps menopausal women suffering from symptoms such as low mood, hot flushes, anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
The rise follows an unprecedented increase in prescriptions in the past few years, partly due to the ‘Davina effect’.
TV personality Davina McCall has released a series of documentaries about the menopause which, along with the efforts of campaigners, has led to an enormous increase in awareness.
TV personality Davina McCall has raised awareness of the issue through a series of documentaries about the menopause
National HRT shortages also led to a Mail campaign, launched last year, which called for more women to be made aware of symptoms and treatment options.
Less than a month after the campaign launch, the Government made it easier for pharmacists to substitute HRT treatments if certain drugs were out of stock. An HRT treatment was also made available over-the-counter in a landmark UK first, and a scheme saving menopausal women more than £200 a year came into force earlier this year.
The new figures, released in a report by the NHS Business Services Authority, also reveal an estimated 2.3 million identifiable patients were prescribed HRT drugs in 2022-23 – a 29 per cent increase on the previous year – with women aged 50 to 54 the largest group of patients.
The report also highlighted that more than twice as many patients were prescribed HRT drugs in the least deprived areas compared with the most.
A graph showing how prescriptions for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) have soared since 2015
Menopause campaigner Diane Danzebrink said: ‘It is disappointing to see the disparity. This clearly indicates the need for a national campaign.’
Earlier this month, campaigners called for women to get free menopause health checks at 40.
Cross-party MPs and peers have also asked for the ‘discussion and diagnosis’ of menopause to be included in a mid-life MOT for women. The all-party parliamentary group also said GPs should be incentivised to diagnose the menopause.
Health Minister Maria Caulfield meanwhile says the Government is considering adding the menopause to conditions GPs are assessed on.