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NHS diabetes drug bill rises to almost £1bn a year

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The amount spent by the NHS for diabetes drugs has increased to almost £1 billion a year, according to new figures released by the NHS. 

It now takes up 10.6 per cent of the cost of prescribed drugs in England, reflecting a rise in the number of people who have diabetes. 

Lifesaving medication

Robin Hewings, Diabetes UK Head of Policy, said: “Today’s report shows the effect that the soaring number of people diagnosed with diabetes is having on the NHS’s bottom line. However, it is important to remember that diabetes medication, such as insulin, is lifesaving, and people with diabetes need their medication to manage their condition well in order to reduce their risk of serious complications such as blindness, amputations and stroke.

 “As well as being personally devastating these complications are also extremely costly to the NHS. The health service spends £10 billion every year managing diabetes, and the vast majority of this cost is spent managing potentially avoidable complications. We are spending more on things going wrong than helping people manage their condition well in the first place. This is why preventing cases of Type 2 diabetes, combined with providing people diagnosed with diabetes with prescribed medication and the support and care they need to manage their condition effectively, will help to reduce costs to the NHS in the long term.”

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