The majority of people with diabetes are unaware of the dangers of not managing their condition properly.
A joint report launched today by Diabetes UK, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and Ask About Medicines shows nearly two thirds of people aren't taking their medications as prescribed, subsequently risking preventable complications.
Thereport found that there are significant missing pieces of information for patients about their diabetes. Almost a third of people don't realise diabetes can lead to heart disease and half don't know that it can reduce life expectancy.
Also, over 60 per cent of pregnant women with diabetes don't realise that stillbirth is a possible outcome of not managing their condition during pregnancy.
"Short termism is a great enemy of good diabetes care, said Simon O'Neill, Director of Care and Policy at Diabetes UK.
"As this research shows, many people struggle to realise the importance of taking medicines, especially if the consequences are not immediately apparent, despite the fact that damage caused by not taking their medicines is irreparable.
"Good diabetes management should be seen as similar to a pension plan - invest now to gain benefits in the future as in both situations."
The report calls on healthcare profesionals to signpost people with diabetes to the most appropriate sources of information as well as encouraging people to ask questions.