Website crashes after cheaper HRT prescriptions launched | UK News
Health officials have apologised after the launch of a new scheme to cut the cost of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was hit by technical problems.
The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) said it was aware of people “experiencing issues” while attempting to access the service online.
The new scheme, which came into force on Saturday, reduces the price of menopause treatments to less than £20 a year.
The plan was announced by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in February, saying it would save around 400,000 women in England up to £205 annually.
Before the rollout, each prescription for HRT cost £9.35, or £18.70 if a woman needs two types of hormones, and that needed to be paid once a month or every three months.
Now women can get a new HRT prescription prepayment certificate for £19.30 per year to access a list of eligible HRT items, including patches, tablets and topical preparations, whenever they need them.
But women have been unable to sort the certificate online due to issues with the NHSBSA website.
Welsh Labour MP Carolyn Harris posted an image on Twitter which appeared to show the website had crashed and asked “can anyone actually access the site?”
“This has been so hard fought for by women and they can wait no longer,” she added.
The NHSBSA said it was working to fix the problem, adding that women will be able to backdate their certificate if they buy it at a later date.
A spokesperson said: “We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues when trying to buy an HRT PPC this morning following the introduction of the new service.
“We’re working to put a fix in place as soon as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience.”
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About 15% of women aged 45 to 64 in England are currently prescribed HRT, according to DHSC figures.
The treatment can help relieve menopause and perimenopause symptoms, including hot flushes, night sweats, brain fog, joint pains, mood swings and vaginal dryness.
It can also reduce the risk of hormone-related health problems, such as osteoporosis and heart disease.
The new certificate can be accessed online or in some pharmacies and will mean women pay once to access treatments as many times as they need throughout the year.
The certificate includes access to eligible HRT items including patches, tablets, pessaries and gels and creams applied to the skin.