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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.’