AONTÚ representative for Limerick, Sarah Beasley, says she is being personally affected by a national shortage of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) medication across the country.
Users of HRT have noticed that the supply of the medication had been disrupted on occasion since 2019 but the supply chain issues have escalated over the past few months.
Aontú submitted a Parliamentary Question, on behalf of Ms Beasley, to the Department of Health. The reply acknowledges that there is a shortage of HRT medication and that many patients face anxiety due to this.
The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has warned that Ireland is facing shortages in several different HRT medication, citing an ‘unexpected increase in demand’ as the cause.
“HRT medication is prescribed to women going through a range of menopausal symptoms, of which I am one. It is prescribed to alleviate what are often the life-altering symptoms we are experiencing,” Ms Beasley explained.
“It is very exhausting for women, we often take a long time to pluck up the courage to come and speak our GP. Acknowledging what is happening to our bodies is not an easy thing. I have been a victim of the HRT shortages, even one day missing my treatment will bring on an onslaught of severe hot flushes and mood swings.”
HRT comes in a number of forms: gels, patches and tablet-based treatment. The shortages are across all types.
“I am part of a Facebook group, the group has over 35,000 members across the country. Within the group people post where they found a supply and there’s almost a race to get to the particular pharmacy before the stock is gone. We live a 21st Century western democracy, these are the types of medical shortages you’d imagine and expect in the former USSR 50 years ago.
“We have members in the group that live in the North of Ireland. They are not experiencing the shortages we are. One of the major irritations is that any of us can travel to the north of Ireland to get it. It’s hard to fathom what is the supply issue in Ireland. Why is the Republic out of supply when the north of Ireland isn’t, Brexit can’t be blamed for this shortage,” she concluded.