SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has welcomed a move by Health Minister Robin Swann to address a shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medicine.
Pharmacists will now be able to substitute medicines when a shortage exists.
Ms McLaughlin had called on Minister Swann to act after women across the North detailed struggling to access the medicine and the impact on their physical and mental health.
Foyle MLA Ms McLaughlin said:
“After listening to the experiences of women who have struggled to access vital HRT medication and the impact on their wellbeing I called on Minister Swann to act and I welcome that he has now taken the steps necessary to help address this shortage. We had already seen this measure introduced in England and patients here will now benefit as a result.
“This shortage was having a significant impact, many patients were only able to secure enough medication to last them for short periods of time and this was creating stress for people at what was already a difficult period in their lives. Other patients were unable to access medication for days at a time and really suffered as a result.
“It’s important that when we face problems like this we move quickly to find solutions. While I appreciate there is much work to be done to approve these kinds of measures, delays have a real impact on patients. I thank Minister Swann for listening to those in need of this medication and I hope this action will go some way to addressing the current shortage as we work to solve supply issues in the long-term.”