Micronised progesterone (Utrogestan®) to be unrestricted and fully funded in New Zealand
Pharmac have recently announced that restrictions on the prescription of Utrogestan® will be removed from 1 December 2022. This will mean that women will be able to access fully funded Utrogestan® for a range of uses, including for menopausal hormone therapy.
The Australasian Menopause Society provided a letter of support to Pharmac in June 2022 supporting the funding of Utrogestan® for MHT as the endometrial protection agent when women require oestrogen for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in the perimenopausal time and also as part of hormone replacement therapy for premature ovarian insufficiency. Being a bioidentical progesterone, international opinion says that it is the safest progesterone to use with the lowest side effect profile. it is considered best practice to use this progesterone as it has a more favourable effect on lipid profiles and potentially less likely to impact on breast cancer risk. It has the additional advantage of having a soporific effect.
More information about the announcement can be found here.
Content updated 26 September 2022
IMS Endowment for Education and Research
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The IMS has a well-established history of funding endeavors that promote education and research. This has included the Research Bursary, World Congress Travel Bursaries, and monetary prizes for IMS Awards. The Board of Directors recognizes the important role that funding plays in supporting vital initiatives to increase awareness and knowledge of menopause and midlife women’s health. We also recognize that we are in a position to enhance our contribution to the field by generating and awarding more funding.
Therefore, on behalf of the IMS Board of Directors, it is my great honor to announce the launch of the IMS Endowment for Education and Research (EER). The EER has been established as a vehicle through which the IMS provides funding for initiatives that support the delivery of the IMS mission: To work globally to promote and support access to best practice health care for women through their menopause transition and post-reproductive years, enabling them to achieve optimal health and well-being.
As part of this launch, we are pleased to invite applications for the Young Scholars Bursary for the 18th World Congress on Menopause, 26th-29th October 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. The bursary includes complimentary registration to the Congress, £600 contribution to travel costs, the opportunity to co-chair a Congress session and a one-year Associate Membership to the IMS. There are eighteen bursary packages available. More information about eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found here on the IMS website.
I hope you join us in celebrating this exciting development and share the information about the Bursary with your colleagues. We look forward to sharing more EER funding opportunities with you in the future.
Professor Steven R. Goldstein
Perimenopause at WinterROC22 August 21
The Australasian Menopause Society is proud to announce that Dr Karen Magraith and Prof Rod Baber have been invited to speak at next weeks WinterROC Online GP Conference on the topic of Perimenopause.
All GPs can attend the WinterROC Online GP Conference, including this session free of charge by registering at www.winterroc.com.au
About WinterROC 22
WinterROC is a free online GP conference covering multiple Women's Health topics including Perimenopause, as well as streams on skin cancer, cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal conditions.
Registration is free of charge for all General Practitioners.
More information and registration is available at www.winterroc.com.au
Breaking the silence on Early menopause
The theme of International Women’s Day for 2022 is ‘Breaking the bias’. Researchers at Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, Monash University, have chosen this day to ‘break the silence’ on early menopause, to launch their new evidenced based App for women Ask Early Menopause. Developed by women for women, and with multidisciplinary early menopause expert input, the App includes women’s stories, evidence-based information, animation and a personalised dashboard to help women manage early menopause and premature ovarian insufficiency. Development of the App was undertaken as part of the CRE in Women’s Health in Reproductive Life (CRE-WHiRL) and builds on previous work from the NHMRC partnership project, Healthtalk Australia Early Menopause Digital Resource where AMS was a project partner.
The App is to be launched by guest speaker, Professor Beverley Vollenhoven AM, former AMS board member, at an online event on March 7 2022, which will include expert speakers and a Q&A session. We hope that you and the women with early menopause you care for can join us.
Clinical A/Prof Amanda Vincent
Head of Early Menopause research, Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, Monash University
Endocrinologist, Menopause Clinic, Monash Health
AMS Past President
Breaking the Silence on Early Menopause594.87 KB
Hormone replacement therapy doesn't increase risk of dying early
10 December 2021
A large UK study has provided reassurance that taking hormone replacement therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms doesn’t increase the risk of dying early, and may even be slightly protective.
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Launch of the updated Global Patient Charter - IOF
We’re very excited to announce the launch of the updated version of the Global Patient Charter, which is now available in 34 languages.
The IOF Global Patient Charter is an instrumental and impactful advocacy tool developed in cooperation with IOF member societies in 2017. Signatories of the Charter add their voices to the global call for all health authorities to address the rights of people with osteoporosis. These rights include: access to timely diagnosis; effective intervention and care; involvement and choice in management plans; and support to ensure active, independent living.
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Estradot and Estalis to remain on the PBS
13 September 2021:
Back in May, Sandoz, the supplier of Estradot and Estalis applied to delist these medications from the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme (PBS) as they were not financially viable. The AMS in collaboration with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaeocologists (RANZCOG) and the Endocrine Society of Australia (ESA) wrote to Minister Hunt expressing our concern about access to Estradot and Estalis and the potential health outcomes if these medications were to be delisted from the PBS.
Following further discussions, Sandoz agreed to apply to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) for a price increase instead of delisting Estradot and Estalis from the PBS. Again, in collaboration with RANZCOG and ESA, AMS wrote a joint letter of support to PBAC for a price increase, rather than them being delisted from the PBS.
AMS is now happy to advise that the PBAC has agreed to the price increase for Estradot and Estalis from 1 October. This price increase means that these medications will remain on the PBS and support continuous and sustainable supply to the Australian market. While many women will need to pay more for these medications from 1 October, importantly, women on a healthcare card will only need to pay the concession price. A letter from Sandoz is attached for further information.
Shortage of PROGYNOVA estradiol valerate addressed with SSSI
12 August 2021:
Information for Doctors
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is advising health professionals and consumers of a current shortage for all strengths of PROGYNOVA estradiol valerate tablets. Due to manufacturing issues the shortage is expected to continue until May 2022.
PROGYNOVA tablets are used for short-term relief of symptoms associated with menopause.
The TGA has made a Serious Scarcity Substitution Instrument (SSSI) to assist patients in accessing their medicine from their pharmacist without delay, ensure treatments are not interrupted and relieve workload pressure on prescribers and pharmacists.
The SSSI is in force from 13 August 2021 until 1 May 2022. The TGA may, however, revoke the SSSI before its end date if the serious scarcity is resolved, or safety concerns are identified.
For more information see Substitution instrument to address shortage of PROGYNOVA estradiol valerate tablets (multiple strengths)
You should be alert to the current shortage of Progynova tablets when prescribing to your patients. Consider prescribing available estradiol-only tablets such as Estrofem and Zumenon tablet.
Zumenon is PBS-listed when prescribed but Estrofem is not.
Information for patients
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions regarding this substitution.
The pack size of estradiol-only tablets varies between brands. However, your pharmacist will supply the correct total dose that your doctor has prescribed.
If you have been prescribed Progynova 1mg or 2mg tablets and you receive a substitute medicine, your pharmacist will explain to you how to take your tablets.
If you are provided 2 mg tablets as a substitute for your usual 1 mg tablets, ask your pharmacist for advice on how to cut the tablets. If someone else is cutting the tablets for you, they may need to consider using personal protective equipment such as gloves and a mask to avoid unintended exposure to estradiol. Low dose of unintended exposure may cause harm or pose a risk of harm.
Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Non-Hormonal Options Shortages in Australia – Update 23 June 2021
There has been a recent shortage of a number of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) preparations and some of these have now been or soon will be resolved:
Duavive – supply due to be resolved by end January 2022
Progynova 2mg – supply due to be resolved by end of April 2022
Femonston Conti – supply shortage expected between 25 June and 9 July
Estradot 100 – supply due to be resolved by 31 August
Estradot 75 – supply due to be resolved by 31 August
Estradot 50 – supply due to be resolved by 1 July
Estradot 37.5 – supply due to be resolved by 31 August
Estradot 25 – supply due to be resolved by 1 July
Estalis Conti 50/140 – supply resolved
Estalis Conti 50/250 – supply resolved
Estalis Sequi 50/140 – supply resolved
Estalis Sequi 50/250 – supply resolved
Estraderm MX 50 – supply resolved
Estraderm MX 100 - supply resolved
There is also an expected shortage of supply of non-hormonal treatment options:
Gabapentin-APOTEX 100mg – supply shortage expected between 20 August- 15 October
Gabapentin 300mg- supply shortage expected between 18 June- 16 July
APX-Gabapentin 300mg- supply shortage expected between 16 July- 6 August
Gabapentin-APOTEX 300mg – to be discontinued from 18 July
Combined oral contraceptive pill
There is also an expected shortage of combined oral contraceptive pill:
Qliara – supply due to be resolved by 1 June 2022
Please note that dates for supply have been sourced from either the pharmaceutical supplier or the TGA website and may change at any time.
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