The Department of Health and Social Care is reviewing the cost of prescriptions for hormone replacement therapy.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment to relieve symptoms of the menopause.

Health Minister Lawrie Hooper told the House of Keys this week that NHS England has introduced a HRT pre-payment certificate, costing £19.30 per annum.

HRTPPC covers an unlimited number of certain medicines for 12 months. This is a reduction on the usual price of a pre-payment certificate in England of £111.60 for 12 months.

He said: ‘Prepayment certificates in the island are £19 for four months, or £54 for 12 months, which is less than half the price of in England.

‘It is worth noting that on island the current prescription fee of £3.85 has not been altered since 2010, however the average cost of a single prescription item is currently around £8.80.

‘Around 5% of patients pay for their items individually, with around 3,000 residents currently opting for a pre-payment certificate.

‘The remaining patients currently receive their medicines free of charge, which equates to 1.5 million items per year with the current annual community drugs bill of over £18 million.’

The minister explained his department is ‘actively reviewing’ the prescription charging model.

‘Rather than exemption eligibility being determined by things such as age of individual medical conditions, the department is looking at a simplified income based model,’ he said.

‘The intention is to create a model which is affordable for the patient, fair and equitable across the population, and affordable and sustainable both for the wider health and social care system.

‘Consideration of having a reduced cost hormone replacement therapy pre-payment certificate forms part of a policy review. No formal position has been agreed.’