SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has called for urgent action from the Department of Health to address a shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products.
She urged Health Minister Robin Swann to follow the example of England, where pharmacists can swap medications without a prescription from a doctor.
Scotland is also considering the introduction of new drugs to help address the shortage.
Foyle MLA Ms McLaughlin said:
“We need to see urgent steps taken to address the shortage of HRT medication in the North and across these islands which is having a severe impact on women. While I appreciate the department has said they are considering the issues, what we need to see is action to get products out to people who need them before their health begins to suffer.
“We have seen new powers being given to pharmacists in England to allow them to substitute prescriptions when there are shortages of certain products and Scotland is also considering introducing new treatments in the interim. I see no reason why the North can’t take similar action to ensure that we can get this medicine to people.
“I will be following this matter up directly with Health Minister Robin Swann and asking him to take the necessary steps to ensure that nobody has to deal with the stress of not being able to access HRT products. We cannot allow people to suffer mental strain and ill health when there are alternative options available that will help alleviate these problems.”