NHS England bars puberty blockers U18s: Pharmacists to navigate new regulatory hurdles

NHS England’s decision to forgo commissioning puberty suppressing hormones (PSH) for children and young people, citing insufficient evidence of their safety
and clinical effectiveness, follows a comprehensive review conducted by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2020.

The clinical report underscores that “PSH treatment options will not be part of routine commissioning” for people under the age of 18 in England grappling with
gender incongruence or dysphoria.

The NHS England review analysed nine observational studies on Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone Analogues (GnRHa) and found no statistically significant difference
in gender dysphoria, mental health, body image, and psychosocial functioning among children and adolescents treated with GnRHa.

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), acknowledged the challenges faced by pharmacy professionals regarding prescriptions
for puberty suppressing hormones, stating: