Over 400,000 purchase HRT prescription prepayment certificate

Pharmacy press

Minister for Women Maria Caufield said in Parliament that, as of the end of September, “well over 400,000 women in England had purchased a HRT prescription prepayment certificate”.

Given that Community Pharmacy England has previously raised concerns about HRT PPCs, we were asked to comment on the situation.

Our Drug Tariff and Reimbursement Manager, Suraj Shah, said:

“Whilst recent statistics on HRT PPC sales are along the lines of DHSC projections, reaching the top estimate in just six months of implementation emphasises the level of impact this Government policy has had on community pharmacies.

The success of the HRT PPC has increased the amount of time spent by pharmacy teams dealing with mixed prescriptions, processing refund forms and handling patient queries regarding their eligibility for the HRT PPC. Some prescribers continue to issue mixed prescriptions despite strong guidance from DHSC advising that HRT items should be issued on separate prescriptions. We understand that some progress has been made on achieving auto-separation of HRT items and are hopeful that all GP IT systems will have this functionality in place soon.

On top of this, in the past year we have also seen a significant increase in the number of HRT items being prescribed, and this high demand has led to intermittent supply disruptions, with pharmacy teams spending hours trying to source different HRT medicines for patients. We maintain our ask of DHSC to recognise the extra workload and ensure pharmacies are properly compensated for the time, effort and financial risks associated with the introduction of the HRT PPC, and in particular mixed prescriptions.”