Women to save £205 a year on HRT from April

A new scheme saving women up to £205 a year HRT comes into effect on 1 April. We explain everything you need to know

A pharmacist is holding a bottle of pills and assisting a customer with a question about medication.
(Image credit: Getty)

HRT costs have been cut under a new scheme starting in April in England. Menopausal women will save £205 a year on hormone replacement therapy drugs via a pre-payment prescription certificate.

A single NHS prescription for HRT currently costs £9.35, or £18.70 if a woman needs two types of hormones (oestrogen and progesterone). HRT prescriptions cover short-term treatment, meaning women can end up paying that cost (£9.35 or £18.70) once a month despite often needing the medication long-term. Over the space of a year, this can add up to hundreds of pounds.

And women have paid even more due to recent HRT shortages, with some women reportedly resorting to buying medication online for up to eight times the NHS price, while others have met in car parks to buy and sell supplies.

From 1 April the new scheme will mean a one-off payment of £18.70 per year for a 12-month supply of HRT. 

Women will need to apply for a certificate for HRT prescription items through the NHS Business Service Authority or in person at pharmacies registered to sell them. There will be no limit to how many times the certificate can be used while it is valid.

Welsh Labour MP Carolyn Harris, co-chairman of the UK Menopause Taskforce, tweeted that the good news about the single annual charge was tempered by an ongoing HRT shortage:

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Menopause can be a difficult time for women, with symptoms — such as hot flushes, anxiety, weight gain, mood swings and night sweats — generally starting from the mid-40s and lasting many years, with some experiencing symptoms so extreme that it changes their life.

Some people who are struggling may benefit from HRT — and there's been a concerted drive to raise awareness of its benefits. Some people find the side effects more challenging than the symptoms, though, and others are unable to use it due to medical conditions.

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Katie Binns

Katie is staff writer at The Money Edit. She was the former staff writer at The Times and The Sunday Times. Her experience includes writing about personal finance, culture, travel and interviews celebrities.  Her investigative work on financial abuse resulted in a number of mortgage prisoners being set free - and a nomination for the Best Personal Finance Story of the Year in the Headlinemoney awards 2021.