OIA response on gender reassignment hormones

Response to a request for information about sex change treatments.

31 October 2019

[name and contact details redacted]

Dear [name redacted]

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Thank you for your request dated 15 October 2019 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating hormonal treatments for gender reassignment.  You asked for:

  1. a breakdown of prescription numbers of medication for the purpose of sex change/ gender transition medications over the last 5 years, broken down by age please.  For those aged 0-18 please break this down by year. For those over 18, 5 year categories is sufficient.
  2. biological females that are being prescribed ongoing testosterone treatment;
  3. biological females that are being prescribed: estrogen, progesterones, GnRH Agonists (ie Lupron), anti-androgens (spironolactone, bicalumide, flutamide, finasteride). Broken by type of above. 
  4. If it’s possible to know which are prescribed together (ie for same person) that would also be interesting. 

PHARMAC does not collect data on what medicines are prescribed for, so we are unable to provide data to answer your first question. Accordingly, this part of your request is refused under section 18(g) of the OIA, because PHARMAC does not hold this information and has no reason to believe any other Government agency will.

We have also conducted analysis for question 4, and it shows that only a very small number of patients were dispensed two or more of these drugs over five years. As these numbers are less than 10, this data will not be provided, because we consider this is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons (section 9(2)(a)).

The below data provides information to answer your other questions.

PHARMAC relies on Ministry of Health data for classifications of individuals’ gender. Data in the tables below reflect these classifications. This may or may not correspond to your intention in seeking information relating to ‘biological females’.

As required under the OIA, we considered whether, in the circumstances, the withholding of this information was outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to make this information available.  In this case we did not consider that the public interest outweighed the reasons for withholding the information.  Please note you have the right, by way of complaint under section 28(3) of the OIA to an Ombudsman, to seek an investigation and review of our decision.

We trust that this information answers your queries.  

Yours sincerely

Alison Hill
Director, Engagement and Implementation

Question 2: Females that are being prescribed ongoing testosterone treatment, by age

Age

14

15

16

17

18

19 to 25

26 to 30

31 to 35

36 to 40

41 to 45

46 to 50

51 to 55

56 to 60

61 to 65

66 to 70

above 70

2014/15

     

< 10

< 10

38

20

< 10

< 10

< 10

16

22

12

< 10

< 10

< 10

2015/16

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

47

14

< 10

< 10

< 10

11

17

18

< 10

< 10

< 10

2016/17

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

11

51

19

12

< 10

< 10

12

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

2017/18

< 10

 

< 10

< 10

15

53

14

< 10

16

12

16

16

14

< 10

< 10

< 10

2018/19

 

< 10

< 10

11

< 10

61

15

12

< 10

15

12

15

23

< 10

< 10

< 10

Notes: Where numbers are less than 10, we have used <10 as there is a risk of identifying individuals where numbers are very small.

There were no results for patients under 14.

Question 3: Females that are being prescribed: estrogen, progesterones, GnRH Agonists (ie Lupron), anti-androgens (spironolactone, bicalumide, flutamide, finasteride), by age

 

Age

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

2014/15

Anti androgens

12

13

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

 

< 10

< 10

12

15

24

43

46

 

Gnrh analogues

 

 

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

14

17

26

18

12

< 10

< 10

10

14

13

20

 

oestrogens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 10

< 10

 

 

progesterone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

2015/16

Anti androgens

17

12

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

16

27

38

48

 

Gnrh analogues

 

 

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

24

23

23

25

14

< 10

11

< 10

17

24

17

 

oestrogens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 10

 

< 10

< 10

 

progesterone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 10

 

< 10

2016/17

Anti androgens

13

11

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

 

< 10

< 10

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

10

27

30

41

 

Gnrh analogues

 

 

 

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

15

35

34

20

20

< 10

< 10

18

16

30

21

 

oestrogens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 10

< 10

 

 

 

progesterone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 10

 

< 10

2017/18

Anti androgens

15

16

< 10

< 10

< 10

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

11

19

35

39

 

Gnrh analogues

 

< 10

 

< 10

 

< 10

< 10

12

15

22

32

32

15

23

14

20

33

20

33

 

oestrogens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

 

progesterone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 10

< 10

2018/19

Anti androgens

14

16

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

11

21

30

49

 

Gnrh analogues

 

 

< 10

 

< 10

< 10

< 10

< 10

24

26

36

33

25

27

22

18

29

38

24

 

oestrogens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 10

 

 

progesterone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 10

   

19 to 25

26 to 30

31 to 35

36 to 40

41 to 45

46 to 50

51 to 55

56 to 60

61 to 65

66 to 70

above 70

2014/15

Anti androgens

632

606

548

625

775

888

1083

1155

1313

1590

6871

 

Gnrh analogues

133

70

129

199

291

253

150

17

< 10

< 10

< 10

 

oestrogens

18

14

13

48

154

324

626

616

563

528

618

 

progesterone

31

60

68

39

15

< 10

 

 

 

 

 

2015/16

Anti androgens

688

608

542

638

803

946

1092

1165

1389

1677

6906

 

Gnrh analogues

162

108

124

211

293

286

166

27

< 10

< 10

< 10

 

oestrogens

14

< 10

17

28

129

294

604

538

508

457

614

 

progesterone

33

69

90

42

< 10

< 10

 

 

 

 

 

2016/17

Anti androgens

688

658

598

651

858

965

1088

1193

1399

1660

6978

 

Gnrh analogues

173

80

154

214

263

328

170

32

< 10

< 10

< 10

 

oestrogens

17

10

10

30

113

251

530

502

446

403

606

 

progesterone

44

79

100

59

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017/18

Anti androgens

717

631

590

665

813

981

1057

1272

1422

1655

7147

 

Gnrh analogues

164

106

163

272

314

354

196

37

< 10

< 10

< 10

 

oestrogens

12

12

13

30

94

255

513

538

405

399

648

 

progesterone

37

71

98

74

13

< 10

< 10

 

 

 

 

2018/19

Anti androgens

711

689

657

658

791

954

1126

1322

1448

1636

7423

 

Gnrh analogues

150

109

208

270

380

398

227

40

< 10

< 10

< 10

 

oestrogens

11

< 10

14

29

68

218

386

466

360

334

631

 

progesterone

50

87

98

66

17

 

 

< 10

 

 

 

Notes: Where numbers are less than 10, we have used <10 as there is a risk of identifying individuals where numbers are very small. The data is extracted according to the number of patients receiving the prescriptions in each financial year. Thus, the patient can appear in each year's data so a sum of numbers over multiple years does not give a meaningful conclusion.