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Diabetes in primary care costs millions everyday

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Millions of pounds are being spent to manage diabetes in primary care, a report from the HSCIC has shown.

The report, Prescribing for Diabetes, found that the net cost of diabetes drugs was £803.1 million in 2013/14, which is an average of £2.2 million per day. This is a 5.1 per cent increase in 2012/13, which averaged at £2.1 million per day. Prescribing for diabetes in 2013/14 amounted to 9.5 per cent of the total cost of prescribing compared with 6.6 per cent in 2005/06.

The report also showed that 45.1 million items were prescribed to manage diabetes in 2013/14, an average of 123,610 items per day. This is a rise of 6.1 per cent from last year, when 116,510 items were prescribed per day.

Simon O'Neill, director of health intelligence and professional liaison at Diabetes UK, said: ‘This report reflects the growing scale of diabetes and the fact that the condition is leading to huge costs to the NHS. The dramatic increase in cases of Type 2 diabetes which we have seen in current years is a huge factor in this spending which overall costs the NHS £10 billion a year.'

Kingsley Manning, HSCIC chair, said: ‘Today's report brings to light the rising costs for managing diabetes in primary care. Diabetes continues to be one of the most prevalent life-threatening conditions in England and now accounts for almost 10 per cent of the drugs bill. Our latest data highlights the growing implications to the NHS and patients of managing this condition.'

To read the full report, visit:

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