avina McCall has called hormone replacement therapy (HRT) shortages “ridiculous” as she urged the government to do more to combat the crisis.
The 54-year-old TV presenter has been outspoken about the subject in recent years and opened up about her own experience with menopause and HRT on a Channel 4 documentary in 2021.
Women have been urged to use alternative types of the drug amid a widespread shortage of HRT in the UK.
But McCall has criticised authorities for taking “so long” to sort the problem out.
Asked about claims that demand for the treatment has increased since her documentary, she told the BBC: “I’m not going to feel bad about that.
“I get really kind of annoyed when people are like, ‘well it’s Davina’s fault’. You know what, we are actually trying to help women sort out their hormones and live a normal, healthy life.
“There were shortages way before that documentary came out last year. Apparently there is a surplus of hormones in Europe. Why is it taking this long to sort this out?”
McCall – whose follow-up documentary on the menopause will air on Channel 4 on Monday – added: “It’s a medicine. If there was a shortage in insulin or another drug that women or men had to take, that would get sorted out immediately.
“It can be life-threatening not getting women’s HRT.
“But yes, I do want to get more women on HRT as it would benefit the NHS in a huge way. This has to get sorted. It is ridiculous.”
Pharmacists say the lack of supply of gels such as Oestrogel is also causing knock-on shortages of other HRT treatments as women search for alternatives.
The shortage of oestrogen gel in the UK has occurred following soaring demand over the last few months.
The company that provides the gel is urgently trying to meet demand.
It comes amid reports that the shortage is leading women to buy, swap or share medication with others.
Conservative MP Caroline Nokes previously said she had been given oestrogel by a fellow MP, and that she had been contacted by an “avalanche” of “hugely anxious women”.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, she said: “It’s the stories about women rationing the supplies that they have, trading oestrogen gel with their friends… all of this led me to raise it in the House last week, and it’s been an avalanche of correspondence since with women describing to me increased anxiety because they don’t know whether their next prescription will be filled.”