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Project #144:
COVID-19 impact on anastrazole use by post-menopausal women with hormone-dependent breast cancer

We want to know whether anastrazole use has been impacted by COVID-19. Anastrazole is a type of hormone treatment, which works by lowering the levels of oestrogen hormones in your body. It is mainly prescribed for women who have been through the menopause and have hormone-dependent breast cancer. It is however also prescribed to prevent breast cancer if you are at high risk and have been through the menopause; or to treat breast cancer in men and younger women; or as fertility treatment if you have polycystic ovary syndrome.

It is taken as a tablet once a daily, and will usually be taken for five to ten years. Some people start taking it after a number of years of taking another hormone therapy drug called tamoxifen. It is estimated from primary care prescribing data that around 70,000 patients have been prescribed anastrazole in the year from February 2021 to January 2022. Issuance in secondary care was between 40-50,000 per month up to March 2020 when it fell to almost 30,000 per month, and has gradually recovered over the last two years. Important to know what impact COVID may have had on this treatment for cancer.

  • Study lead: Darren Williams
  • Organisation: NHS England
  • Project type: Service evaluation
  • Topic area: Other/indirect impacts of COVID on health/healthcare