Diabetes prescriptions now cost NHS £1bn, figures show

Diabetes prescriptions now cost NHS £1bn, figures show
Diabetes prescriptions are costing the NHS in England more than £1 billion a year, according to figures from NHS Digital.
The total cost of the prescriptions has risen significantly – by more than £422 million – in the last 10 years. Almost one in 20 prescriptions written by GPs are now for diabetes treatment. The biggest increases are seen in treatments for type 2 diabetes, which affects around 90% of diabetes patients. Robin Hewings, head of policy at the charity Diabetes UK, said the figures reflect a dramatic rise in the incidence of diabetes. “The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has doubled in the last 20 years, and it is responsible for 26,000 early deaths per year alongside serious complications such as blindness, amputation or stroke. “This data shows that diabetes prescribing costs £1bn, but it is estimated that the total cost to the NHS is over £10bn a year, so the real price we have to pay for diabetes is not medications, but the devastating and expensive complications.” Mr Hewings pointed out that drug costs have not risen significantly during this period, and that the increase in prescribing costs is largely a result of the rise in prevalence of type 2 diabetes.

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