Recent NICE guidelines on Menopause: diagnosis and management [NG23] published in November 2015 suggested that GPs and other healthcare professionals are reluctant to prescribe HRT because they overestimate the risks and contraindications, and underestimate the impact of menopausal symptoms on a woman’s quality of life.
However, figures show that prescriptions for HRT have remained stable over the last year at around 250,000 items for HRT prescribed each month.
Although we can’t determine the number of women treated from this data, we can see that the number of new community prescribers of HRT has declined over the last year, whilst the number of existing prescribers of HRT has remained relatively stable.
This shows that whilst the average number of existing practices prescribing HRT is 8430 a month, the number of new prescribers has fallen from over 100 in October 2014 to around 20 in September 2015.
Over the coming months we will be able to assess whether an increase in new prescribers results from the NICE guidance.