A CORK TD has raised concerns about shortages of HRT medication for women experiencing menopause.
Socialist Party TD Mick Barry said the State was slow to act on the HRT medication shortage, with pharmacies “inundated” with women seeking treatments for symptoms associated with menopause. Mr Barry said shortages of HRT medication were first reported late last year, with the situation unresolved nearly five months on.
“The Irish healthcare system has a history of treating women as second-class citizens and the recent fiasco with the supply of menopause treatments has to be seen in that light,” he said.
“We have a chief medical officer and even a chief veterinary officer already. Maybe it’s time for a chief pharmacy officer? Either way it’s clear that the State has to take women’s healthcare more seriously and act more decisively to resolve the HRT shortages issue,” he said.
An Irish Pharmacy Union spokesperson told The Echo: “Pharmacies are reporting an increase in demand for HRT. This is being driven by increased public awareness of the benefits of HRT to treat symptoms of menopause.
“There have been supply issues with a number of different HRT products at different points in time over the last couple of years. In the event that any medicine is in short supply or otherwise unavailable, pharmacists will frequently suggest a suitable alternative for the patient where one is available and will have a discussion with the prescriber to outline the options. However, due to the nature of HRT shortages, alternatives have not always been consistently available.”