We’ve collated some information that we’ve learned about current hormone shortages in the UK, particularly oestrogen, which was considered to be at a higher risk of shortages due to Brexit. This information is from the PSNC Price Concessions List, news from C&D and word of mouth. This blog post is for information only, we are not doctors and you should always consult a medical professional about your medication.
In April, the manufacturer of Elleste Solo (an estrogen pill) ceased production. No resupply date was known. As of May, these stocks have mostly run out. Trans folks taking those pills have been moved on to Zumenon. As of June, Zumenon shortages are now reported by trans women in England by A4TH colleagues and the British Menopause Society.
There have also been patch shortages. FemSeven (a seven-day patch) was discontinued in December 2018. Elleste MX patches are currently unavailable, and are in different dose multiples to alternative brands (e.g. 40mcg Elleste MX compared to 50mcg Evorel) . There have been occasional, localised patch shortages across other brands in Manchester, but no reports of this in Durham.
There have been occasional, localised testosterone blocker shortages in Manchester but no reports of this in Durham.
Speak to your medical professional if you are worried about how these changes might affect your hormone supply. Doctors can choose to write generic prescriptions (‘estradiol hemihydrate, 2mg daily’ rather than ‘elleste solo 1mg 2x daily’), which allows the pharmacist to dispense any available brand and tablet if there are future shortages.
If you’re having trouble with hormone medication supply issues, or with prescribers who are reluctant to make changes, please let us know so we can update our information, particularly if you live in the Durham area.
Although the logistics of changing can be a hassle, alternative treatment approaches are usually available so these shortages shouldn’t be too much of a cause for concern.