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Cost of diabetes treatment in England rises

Published on 12/08/15 at 05:33pm
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NHS spending on anti diabetes medicines is on the rise

As diabetes patients increase in numbers the cost of treating the disease in England has increased to more than £800 million, a NHS report shows.

The figure accounts for one tenth of all prescribing in primary care, as the increasing numbers patients with the disease and the rising costs of new treatments means more is being spent on medicines used to treat diabetes in England than ever.

New figures show that in 2014/15 the net ingredient cost (NIC) of drugs for managing diabetes was £868.6 million, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The figures represent 10% of the total £8.71 billion primary care prescribing spend in 2014/15, a rise from 9.5% in 2013/14 and 6.6% in 2005/06.

NHS HSCIC statistician Ian Bullard says: “Diabetes continues to be one of the most prevalent long term conditions, and the number of patients being diagnosed with the condition is increasing each year.”

Bullard went on to say: “Today’s report looks at trends in prescribing for medicines used to treat diabetes in England. It shows that ten pence in the pound of the primary care prescribing bill in England is being spent on managing diabetes.

The prescribing for diabetes in England report indicates the trends for diabetes medicines prescribed in primary care in England. It found that 47.2 million items were prescribed for diabetes, which accounts for 4.5% of all the 1.06 billion prescription items dispended in England in 2014/15, an increase of 4.6% from last year. 

The report shows 6.7 million insulin items were prescribed (at a NIC of £334.7 million), accounting for 14.1% of all items prescribed for diabetes, and 33.4 million anti-diabetes drug items were prescribed (at a NIC of £350.2 million), accounting for 70.8% of all items prescribed for diabetes.

Yasmita Kumar

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