The drugs could become more accessible to millions, as Reporter Chloe Keedy reports
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could be made available over the counter depending on the outcome of a consultation, reports suggest.
According to the Daily Telegraph, health watchdogs are expected to propose a reclassification of the medication, which would allow women to access it in a pharmacy without a prescription.
It is not known at this stage exactly which HRT product will be part of the proposal. The medication is used to offset the symptoms of menopause.
The government recently made moves to increase the accessibility of the medication.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We understand that for some women menopause symptoms can have a significant impact on their quality of life, and we are committed to improving the care and support they receive.
“That’s why we’re developing the first ever government-led Women’s Health Strategy, informed by women’s lived experience.
“Menopause, including improving access to Hormone Replacement Therapy, will be a priority under the Strategy.”
When asked in Prime Minister's Questions about plans on Thursday, Boris Johnson told MPs that menopause "will be a priority within our women's health strategy" and the government will establish a UK-wide menopause taskforce.
"We are committed to improving menopause care so all women can have access to the support they need and to manage the symptoms," the PM said.
In October, it was announced the cost of repeat prescriptions for HRT would be significantly reduced in England, following a high profile campaign backed by politicians and celebrities.
Instead of paying for repeat prescriptions every month, women can get one batch of them for up to a year with one signature and one prescription charge.
Previously, it was costing up to £18.70 a month for HRT but under the new plans it costs the same for an entire year's supply, saving women £205.
Former model Penny Lancaster previously told ITV News that the prime minister's wife Carrie will hit menopause at some point and he will be "regretting the day that he never gave women" free HRT treatment.
"It just breaks my heart that there are so many who are suffering" - Penny Lancaster
She emotionally explained how the menopause had impacted her life and said she is "getting there" after two months taking HRT treatment, but said "sometimes I bawl my eyes out" when she has "no reason to be upset and crying".
Ms Lancaster was among dozens of women, including Davina McCall and Mariella Frostrup, who attended a protest outside Parliament, who called on the government to take their pledge one step further and provide free menopause treatment.
Ms Lancaster added: "There are many marriages falling apart, women are having to give up careers because of the symptoms, doctors are needlessly giving women antidepressants - that's a cost in itself, so why not just give women the treatment they need, and why should they have to pay for it?"
The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed suicide rates in women of menopausal age have risen despite falling numbers of older women taking their own lives.
Suicide rates for women aged 45 to 54 – the most common age for perimenopause and menopause – have risen 6% in 20 years, the ONS said in November, last year.
Symptoms of menopause:
Low or non-existent sex drive
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