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Fears as HRT crisis fuels rise of vegan ‘alternatives’ as desperate women are bombed

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Fears as HRT crisis fuels rise of vegan ‘alternatives’ as desperate women are bombarded with online advertisements for menopausal treatments

  • Experts warn women against ‘exaggerated’ claims about drugs ‘not as effective’ as HRT
  • The Mail is campaigning to allow pharmacists to dispense HRT replacements
  • British Menopause Society says products have ‘little value’ in treating symptoms

Desperate women are bombarded with Facebook ads for expensive and controversial menopause treatments during the HRT deficiency crisis, the Daily Mail can reveal.

GPs say patients have asked about vegan products promoted on their news feeds and marketed as “a new way to tackle menopause.”

But experts warn women to be wary of ‘exaggerated’ claims about products that are ‘not as effective’ as HRT and are sold at nearly three times the price of an NHS prescription.

An advertisement seen by the Mail featured a product that has not been approved by the UK medicines regulatory agency and is not recommended by the British Menopause Society due to safety concerns.

The Mail is campaigning to end the HRT crisis and our manifesto calls for pharmacists to dispense replacements if prescription HRT is out of stock.

An ad for MenoFriend, a £18.99 supplement made by the ‘vegetable’ company Dr Vegan, features testimonials claiming it relieved symptoms within a week.

A Facebook ad for a monthly supply of Feel Menopause for £26.35 describes the supplement as ‘a new way to tackle menopause’. Both products contain plant-based compounds which, according to the British Menopause Society (BMS), the UK’s authority on menopause, have ‘little value’ in fighting symptoms.

Claims: A Feel Menopause Social Media Ad

Another ad features a cream made by Guernsey-based company Wellsprings and sold for £24.99 that claims to relieve menopausal symptoms ‘without the side effects often experienced with regular HRT treatments’. It is a type of ‘composite bioidentical hormone replacement therapy’ that is not regulated by the UK medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency.

The BMS does not recommend it due to doubts about its efficacy and safety. BMS chairman Haitham Hamoda said, “I wouldn’t go anywhere near this product.”

A spokesperson for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said it had removed “the infringing ads.”

Wellsprings CEO Trevor Taylor denied that the company “benefited” from the HRT shortfall, saying the company had been active on social media for “many years”.

A spokesperson for Dr. Vegan said MenoFriend’s social media advertising has not increased since the HRT shortages began.

A Feel spokesperson said the company is not claiming that its product can “cure” menopausal symptoms or that it is advising customers not to take HRT. Both Feel and Dr Vegan said their ads had not been removed from Facebook.

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