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Diabetes rates jump by 60% in UK

Comes as new analysis also reveals that 10% of the NHS GP drugs budget spent on the disease

Pharmacist Rx 

The number of people living with diabetes in the UK has soared by 60% the last ten years, according to analysis by Diabetes UK.

The new figures, extracted from official NHS data, show that there are now 3.3m people diagnosed with diabetes - which is an increase of more than 1.2 million adults compared with 2005, when 2.08m people diagnosed with the condition.

The charity Diabetes UK adds that this figure may be higher, as it doesn't take into account the 590,000 adults estimated to have undiagnosed diabetes in 2013-2014.

The vast majority of new cases are type II diabetes, a condition typically associated with obesity and poor insulin production that requires antidiabetics and insulin.

Diabetes UK is warning that this growth in numbers “reflects an urgent need for effective care for people living with diabetes”, as well as highlighting the importance of prevention and that failure to act on this threatens to “bring down the NHS”.

At present, the charity says that only six in ten people with diabetes in England and Wales receive the eight care processes recommended by NICE.

These are the checks identified as essential in high quality care for people with diabetes and include getting blood pressure and blood glucose levels measured, as well as the kidney function monitored, otherwise poorly managed diabetes can lead to devastating and expensive health complications such as kidney disease, stroke and amputation.

It says this is why it's critical that the government takes urgent action to ensure that everyone with diabetes receives the eight care processes, reducing their risk of further health complications and the costs these incur for the already strained NHS budget.

This also comes just one week after new figures from the NHS data body HSCIC released the latest figures on the costs associated with drug treatment for the disease.

In 2014/15, the HSCIC data showed that the Net Ingredient Cost from medicines for managing diabetes was £868.6 - 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.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Over the past decade, the number of people living with diabetes in the UK has increased by over 1 million people, which is the equivalent of the population of a small country such as Cyprus. With a record number of people now living with diabetes in the UK, there is no time to waste - the government must act now.

“We need to see more people with diabetes receiving the eight care processes recommended by NICE. It is unacceptable that a third of people living with the condition do not currently get these, putting them at increased risk of developing complications, such as amputations, heart attack or stroke.”

Article by
Ben Adams

17th August 2015

From: Healthcare

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