Scotland Pauses New Prescriptions of Puberty Blockers

Scotland has paused new prescriptions of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for minors.

The development follows a report from Dr. Hilary Cass, which discussed the “remarkably weak evidence” for transitions.

“This service update follows research from NHS England and the publication of the Cass Review while we work with the Scottish Government to engage in research with NHS England that will generate evidence of safety and long-term impact for therapies,” a statement from Scotland’s National Health Service (NHS) says.

Minors who were already receiving the drugs may continue the prescription.

“If you are already being treated by Paediatric Endocrinology and being prescribed [gender-affirming hormone treatment], you will have been contacted and advised that there will be no change to your course of treatment,” the statement reads. “You will also have been informed that you can contact your clinician if you have any concerns.”

Last month, England’s National Health Service (NHS) announced that it is ending its distribution of puberty blockers for minors.

“NHS England has carefully considered the evidence review conducted by NICE (2020) and has identified and reviewed any further published evidence available to date,” a report states. “We have concluded that there is not enough evidence to support the safety or clinical effectiveness of PSH to make the treatment routinely available at this time.”