"HRT Implant being cut by my surgery"

About: NHS Medway CCG

(as the patient),

After being diagnosed by my doctor as going through the early menopause at 39 years old I was a mess and had been for some time without realising.

My doctor suggested the HRT implant. She administered it and my life changed for the better. I really have no clue how I was living the years leading up to this. I am a wife of a loving husband and a mum to 3 wonderful boys. I have a lovely supportive family and a job I absolutely love. Yet I was living under a dark cloud and my emotional state was all over the place.

My doctor sent me for a blood test which proved how low my hormones were. After receiving the HRT implant my life has completely changed. This treatment works for me and I know many other women.

I now find that this service is being cut at my doctors surgery and I haven't a clue how I will cope without this treatment. I will do all I can for myself and women in my area to get this important service!

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Response from John Nurden, Comms and Engagement, NHS Medway CCG

Thank you for sharing your concerns. We have posted information for patients regarding this on our website http://www.medwayccg.nhs.uk/news/news-article/?blogpost=3760

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Response from John Nurden, Comms and Engagement, NHS Medway CCG

Hormone Replacement Therapy.

This what is on our website:

The CCG has received enquiries from patients who have been given HRT implants to manage menopausal symptoms. They are concerned about the future availability of these implants.

HRT implants are no longer routinely offered as a treatment for menopausal symptoms in England and this has been the case since 2011. The manufacturer of the licensed product, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), stopped making them in August 2011. The decision was based on two main factors:

•Therapeutic alternatives are available in the UK, including tablets taken by mouth, patches, gels, vaginal tablets or a vaginal ring.

•Cost-effective manufacturing processes are unsustainable because few countries use the implant formulation.

GPs and prescribers were advised at that time that treatment should be continued until a discussion could take place between the patient and their prescriber. Most GPs and prescribers reviewed their patients at that time and switched them to suitable alternatives.

The only HRT implant preparations that are now available are not licensed for use in England.

After reviewing the continued use of HRT implants, NHS Medway CCG has informed GPs that the implants should no longer be made available to patients as it believes that there are suitable licensed medicines that will meet patients’ needs. GPs have been written to and asked to discuss alternatives forms of HRT with patients at their next routine appointment.

This is in accordance with General Medical Council guidance on prescribing unlicensed medicines.

In exceptional cases where a licensed medicine is considered to be unsuitable or ineffective for an individual, the CCG would expect these patients to be referred for expert opinion.

If you would like further information on prescribing of unlicensed medicines please contact the CCG prescribing adviser on 01634 335087 or email mccg.medwaymedman@nhs.net.

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Update posted by ddubsmuffin (the patient)

So what happens for those who the hrt implant works for and not the other methods?? Where do we go??

Updates, changes and questions related to this story