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Cost of diabetes prescriptions exceed £1bn


Cost of diabetes prescriptions exceed £1bn

The cost of prescriptions for diabetes drugs in England in 2017-18 exceeded £1 billion, according to figures by NHS Digital.

The latest figures revealed that £1,012.4 million was spent on prescriptions for diabetes medicines, equating to 11.4% of the overall cost of primary care prescribing which NHS Digital put at more than £8.8 billion.

Over 53 million items were prescribed in 2017-18, an increase of 22.6 million items and £421.7 million since 2007-8.

Indeed, the number of prescription items for diabetes has increased every year over the last decade, with 30.8 million items prescribed in 2007-8 and 52 million items prescribed in 2016-17.

The figures were revealed in the wake of a study by Diabetes UK which found that 500 people living with diabetes die prematurely each week in England and Wales.

“Five hundred preventable, premature deaths each week is a harrowing statistic that highlights how serious diabetes can be. It’s vital that this seriousness is recognised and that the NHS continues to fund improvements to diabetes care beyond 2019, as it has been doing through the Diabetes Transformation Fund,” said Diabetes UK chief executive Chris Askew.

“The importance of helping people with diabetes avoid preventable complications, which can often lead to death, cannot be overstated.

“If we want to reduce the number of people with diabetes dying early and unnecessarily the investment and work started in 2017 needs to be continued. Progress is being made and shouldn’t stop now, to ensure the benefits of transformation are fully realised.” 


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