Testosterone and oestradiol implants are once again available in the UK.
This will be welcome news to the many women who relied on testosterone implants to relieve their symptoms of depression, fatigue, lack of sexual desire and response, only to find the product withdrawn three years’ ago.
Testosterone Implants Discontinued
In November 2012, pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) announced that it was discontinuing the production of testosterone implants.
This was ‘a global profitability decision’ by MSD. As far back as November 2011, MSD Australia had written a letter to doctors and pharmacists, saying that it had ‘decided to discontinue the manufacture and supply of testosterone implants… based on the fact that significant and extended process enhancements would be needed to sustain future manufacturing.’
This decision closely followed the withdrawal of Intrinsa testosterone patches for women. Intrinsa was first authorised in the European Union in 2006 for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in women who had undergone a surgically induced menopause and were receiving oestrogen therapy. In 2010 pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott decided not to renew the application for Intrinsa in Europe, again citing ‘commercial reasons’.
This decision meant that there were no licensed female testosterone replacement preparations available in the UK and no alternative suppliers in Europe. Hospitals and clinics tried desperately to source the implants from the USA and some were more successful than others.
The British Menopause Society and other menopause societies around the world protested the decision but as the BMS said in a press release issued on 20 December 2012, ‘Whilst the decision by MSD to withdraw hormone implants was immoral, it was not illegal and cannot be reversed.’
Unfortunately, there is very little that anyone can do to challenge the decisions of major pharmaceutical companies, particularly when profits are at stake.
In the meantime, off license use of testosterone gel such as Testim and Testogel has been the only available alternative. For those women who had been used to receiving testosterone implants the gel was a weak and often ineffective substitute.
Testosterone implants are usually inserted every six months and the effect is a lot more powerful than the recommended daily dose of testosterone gel for women. However, side-effects can include aggression and hypersexuality. Often the benefits of the implant wear off after four months.
Testosterone Implants are Available in the UK
SP Ltd is the only distributor of Testosterone 100mg Implants across the world (excluding USA). The product is manufactured by Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology Inc in the USA, and SP Ltd is their main distributor for the Testosterone Implants.
Oestradiol 25 mg and 50 mg Implants are also available through SP Ltd.
The Testosterone and Oestradiol Implants are not for sale to the general public but must be prescribed by a doctor. If your pharmacist or doctor is unaware of this new availability please pass on this information to them.
Contact Details for Smartway Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Name: Dhruv Patel
Tel: +44 208 545 7730