Health officials have expressed regret after women were unable to obtain an online certificate that would have given them access to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) prescriptions at a lower cost.
HRT should have been available starting on Saturday with the use of a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC), which will cost £19.30 for the entire year and last for 12 months.
The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) website crashed, making it difficult for women to get the certificate online.
Women will be able to backdate their certificate if they purchase it, the NHSBSA said in an apology and statement that it is trying to address the issue.
A spokesperson said: “We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues when trying to buy an HRT PPC this morning following the introduction of the new service.”
“We’re working to put a fix in place as soon as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience.”
“If you need your HRT medicine before you buy the HRT PPC, ask your pharmacist for an FP57 receipt when you pay for your HRT medication. You will be able to get a refund from the pharmacy.”
“The HRT PPC can start from April 1 2023.”
According to the government, the certificate will enable 400,000 women to annually save hundreds of pounds.
The certificate can be obtained by women online (once the website is operational again) or at some pharmacies, and it is valid for 12 months.