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New NHS report shows increase in HRT prescriptions

Many people go through the menopause every year, experiencing symptoms such as low mood, anxiety, hot flushes and difficulty sleeping. Some symptoms can be severe and have a negative impact on everyday life.

NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has released a new report ‘Hormone Replacement Therapy [HRT] – England – April 2015 to June 2023’. The report includes all drugs that are covered by the HRT Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC), which reduces the costs of prescriptions.

Key findings show that in England in 2022/23:

  • 11 million items were prescribed for HRT, a 47% increase from 2021/22
  • an estimated 2.3 million identified patients were prescribed HRT drugs, a 29% increase from 2021/22
  • more than twice as many patients were prescribed HRT drugs in the least deprived areas compared to the most deprived
  • the proportion of HRT prescribing that is exempt from prescription charges has increased from April 2023, reversing a downwards trend from 2015/16 onwards. This coincides with the introduction of the HRT PPC

To read the full statistical report go to:

The HRT PPC covers an unlimited number of listed HRT medicines for 12 months, for the cost of two single prescription charges, currently £19.30. It is available to buy online at, or in-person at some pharmacies.

Before buying an HRT PPC, a patient should check if they’re eligible for free NHS prescriptions using the eligibility checker: Also, if their medicine is covered by the HRT PPC. For a list of eligible HRT medication visit: A three or 12-month PPC may be more suitable. It covers all NHS prescriptions, including HRT items:

Contact Information

Sahdia Hassen

Senior Media and Campaigns Officer

NHS Business Services Authority

Notes to editors

These statistics are based on the financial year and not on the calendar year as some other sources of data may be.

‘Identified patients’ are those patients whose NHS numbers were available (this only excludes a small number), please see the ‘Definitions’ section of the report for a full explanation.