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As revolutionary as the Pill: UK set to turn down the heat on ...

World

As revolutionary as the Pill: UK set to turn down the heat on menopause

The nation is investigating making one targeted hormone replacement therapy product available over the counter

Therese Raphael

When the BBC reflected on the 50 things that made the modern economy a few years back, of course it included the pill. Oral contraception ushered in a revolution some 60 years ago that freed women to plan their lives. It meant many could enrol in graduate programmes and pursue professional careers, raising long-term income levels and spurring far-reaching economic change.  

There is no obvious equivalent today. And yet a new move in Britain to address inequalities in health care could prove almost as revolutionary for women — and for a country that, like many others, is experiencing slowing long-term growth trends and an ageing population that is living longer. 

The UK government promised last year to “reset the dial” on women’s health and its new strategy is due to be published in spring there. We’ll have to reserve judgment until then, but last week Britain’s medicines regulator took a step forward with a proposal to make hormone replacement therapy (HRT), used to treat menopause symptoms, available over the counter and at negligible charge. ..

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