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Diabetes prescriptions account for 10% of England's primary care drugs bill

Prescriptions for diabetes have soared to account for almost 10% of the NHS primary care drugs budget in England, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has revealed.

The total spend on diabetes medicines rose to £803.1m in 2013/2014 — up from £764.1m in 2012/2013 and £513.9m in 2005/2006. Diabetes prescribing cost a record 9.5% of the primary care drugs bill in England in the last financial year, compared with 6.6% in 2005/2006.

The trend reflects the growing prevalence of diabetes in England, which now affects 6.0% of people aged 17 years or older. Around 45.1 million items for diabetes were dispensed in England in 2013/2014, an increase of 66.5% since 2005/2006 and 6.1% since 2012/2013.

Kingsley Manning, HSCIC chairman, says that the latest data highlight the growing implications to the NHS and patients of managing this condition. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066192

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