Campaigners cheer as UK Government offers to slash costs of HRT repeat prescriptions

Campaigners celebrated the Government’s pledge to act to help break the menopause ‘taboo’ at a rally in Parliament Square.

MPs and TV personalities including Davina McCall, Penny Lancaster and Mariella Frostrup joined our own campaign founder, Diane Danzebrink outside Parliament to applaud the Government’s announcement that the cost of repeat prescriptions for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for those experiencing symptoms of the menopause in England will be significantly reduced.

Diane paid tribute to the hundreds of women at Friday’s rally and the hundreds of thousands who have signed the Make Menopause Matter petition online.

“We will all be affected by menopause at some time in our lives, whether directly or indirectly” she told the crowd (see video below).

“We absolutely must make sure that this is the push that ensures all these amazing people here are part of the generation making it better for the future.

“We WILL be the generation to Make Menopause Matter” she added.

Carolyn Harris,MP for Swansea East withdrew her Private Members Bill after it sparked impassioned and personal debate from ministers about the menopause. She had brought the topic to Parliament, initially wanting to come away with free HRT treatment on the NHS in England. But after lively cross-party debate in support of the bill, she emotionally accepted her goal had been reached, after huge cost cuts were pledged.

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The event was widely covered by the national media.

TV personality Penny Lancaster welcomed the government’s move to cut the cost of repeat prescriptions in England, but asked: “Why not just give it to women for free?” (see ITV story)

The Sun newspaper said HRT is currently available on prescription for £9.35 a time in England, although it is free in Scotland and Wales.

After the calls for change, women on repeat prescriptions will only have to pay one charge of £18.50 a year – saving up to £205.

“It will make a huge difference to so many women saving hundreds of pounds a year on prescriptions who will no longer have to make sacrifices to access treatment.” the paper concluded.

The Daily Mail quoted Carolyn Harris as saying: ‘It’s only the beginning, there’s a long way to go but we’ve made a huge step forward today for women.

‘It was the right thing to do and we know that women from now on will be taken seriously and that the menopause will not be something that we’ll hide under the carpet any longer.’

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