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Primary care diabetes prescribing increases by 5%

The costs of primary care prescribing for diabetes have jumped 5.1% from last year, meaning the NHS is spending more than £2.2 million a day on treating the condition, the NHS information centre has shown.

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre reveal that the total cost of diabetes drugs and materials in 2013-14 reached £803.1m, up from £764.1m in 2012-13.

Antidiabetic drugs, which are only prescribed for type-2 diabetes, accounted for 70% of the items prescribed – a 6.9% increase on last year – with diagnostic and monitoring devices accounting for the other 30%.

Almost 10% of the total primary care prescribing budget is now spent on managing diabetes, and the figure has risen year on year by 6.6% since 2005-06.

Chair of the HSCIC, Kingsley Manning said: ‘Today’s report brings to light the rising costs for managing diabetes in primary care.’

‘Diabetes continues to be one of the most prevalent life-threatening conditions in England and now accounts for almost 10% of the drugs bill. Our latest data highlights the growing implications to the NHS and patients of managing this condition.’

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Bob Hodges

    In England, nearly 6% of the population has type 2 diabetes, so spending 10% of the prescribing budget on it doesn't strike me as outrageous (costs:benefit for newer treatments aside as that's another issue).

    There are probably AT LEAST 50% for people of the register than there were in 2005/6, and those (surviving) existing patients are 9 years older and more likely to require insulin as well so that explains the risk in all probability.

    I really hope that they spend some time working out whether this is actually 'a problem' before they start shoving 'the solution' down our throats like they normally do.

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  • Bob Hodges

    Sorry - should read:

    In England, nearly 6% of the population has type 2 diabetes, so spending 10% of the prescribing budget on it doesn't strike me as outrageous (costs:benefit for newer treatments aside as that's another issue).

    There are probably AT LEAST 50% more people on the register than there were in 2005/6, and those (surviving) existing patients are 9 years older and more likely to require insulin as well so that explains the rise in all probability.

    I really hope that they spend some time working out whether this is actually 'a problem' before they start shoving 'the solution' down our throats like they normally do.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Have a look here:

    http://www.gpcontract.co.uk/

    According to QoF data, the UK incidence of diabetes has risen from 3.4% to 4.8% between 2005 and 2014. That's a 42% increase.

    My own practice's indcidence has risen from 3.5% to 6.0% over the same time.

    I wonder why our prescribing spend in this area has risen?? I'll be pondering this ALL day now.

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