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Diabetes costs jump again in England

Cost of treating the disease rising as prices and patients increase in number

Pharmacist 

Medicines used to treat diabetes in England have accounted for a tenth of the annual primary care prescribing bill for the first time.

In 2014/15 the Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) for managing diabetes was £868.6m, according to the NHS prescription data group the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

This represents 10% of the total primary care prescribing spend in 2014/15 (which was £8.7bn), and is compared with 9.5% in 2013/14 and 6.6% in 2005/06.

The report, 'Prescribing for diabetes in England', shows trends for diabetes medicines prescribed in primary care in England during the period April 2005 to March 2015.

It  shows that in 2014/15:

•    47.2 million items were prescribed for diabetes, a 4.6% (2.1 million) increase  from 45.1 million items in 2013/14 and a 74.1% (20.1 million) rise on 2005/6 (27.1 million).
•    Diabetes medicines accounted for 4.5% (47.2 million) of all prescription items (1,059.8 million) compared with 4.4% (45.1 million) in 2013/14 (1,027.9 million) and 3.8% (27.1 million) in 2005/06 (722.4 million).

The report also found that 6.7 million insulin items were prescribed (at a NIC of £334.7m), accounting for 14.1% of all items prescribed for diabetes.

This is a 3.1% (0.2 million item) increase  on  2013/14 (6.5 million items) and  a 41.4% (1.9 million item) increase on 2005/06 (4.7 million items).

And there were 33.4 million antidiabetic drug items prescribed (at a NIC of £350.2m), accounting for  70.8% of all items prescribed for diabetes.

This represents a 5.3% (1.7 million item) increase on 2013/14 (31.7 million items) and is more than double the number  of items prescribed  in 2005/06 (16.1 million items).

Ian Bullard, responsible statistician for the report, said: “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.

“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.”

Article by
Ben Adams

12th August 2015

From: Healthcare

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