Women in the UK needing contraception have been struggling to access crucial drugs amidst ongoing supply and manufacturing issues.
Leading health experts have raised concerns that this could leave transgender and young women in a vulnerable position.
Officials from The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RGOG) have warned that a supply shortage of daily pills and injectable contraceptives will cause “distress for clinicians, patients and pharmacists”.
A variety of daily pills and injectable contraceptives, as well as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) are said to be among the medicines affected, in what has been called “utter chaos” by The Royal College of GPs (RCG)
The Faculty of Reproductive Sexual Health (FRSH) along with the British Menopause Society (BMS) and the RGOG have urged Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health & Social Care (DHSC) to create a working group to address the issue as a matter of emergency.
Along with @BrMenopauseSoc & @FSRH_UK, we have written to @MattHancock calling for a working group to be set up to address the ongoing HRT/contraceptives shortages. These are causing distress for clinicians, patients and pharmacistshttps://t.co/2Ad4Pq66LF https://t.co/zgjLwIUdmJ
— RoyalCollegeObsGyn (@RCObsGyn) February 7, 2020
The issue is similar to a shortage last year of HRT for menopausal women. Last October, the DHSC were reported to have restricted exports of 19 HRT medications to help with a shortfall of the product in the UK.
“We are aware that women are sent away with prescriptions for unavailable products and end up lost in a system that is frustrating to navigate,” said FSRH president, Dr Asha Kasliwal.
Both the BMS and RCOG have said the problem is “unique to the UK” and cannot find a direct cause yet.
Morning all! Our sisters @bpas are tackling breaking news this morning. The UK is struggling with a contraception shortage. It is essential that we are aware of these implications and support our clinics, communities and fight for our sexual health and reproductive rights! https://t.co/v4s2oSsAen
— Abortion Rights (@Abortion_Rights) February 7, 2020
Contraception is free for most UK citizens and there are currently around 15 methods available to choose from.