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Diabetes medicine costs spiralling

  • 3 Comments

Too much money is being spent by the NHS on diabetes medicines, according to researchers at Cardiff University.

The drugs account for 7% of the entire UK budget for prescribing, they found.

During the study period, between 2000 and 2008, the number of NHS prescriptions for diabetes drugs increased by 50%, with costs increasing by 104% (accounting for inflation).

The researchers said the costs for England alone increased from £290 million to £591 million for the period, while for the year 2008 the NHS spent £700 million on diabetes drugs.

Writing in the journal Clinical Pharmacist, the study authors said the spiralling costs cannot be explained simply by the fact that more people have developed type 2 diabetes in recent years. And because the number of people with the condition is forecast to increase further, the health service must get more control of its budget, they wrote.

Instead, the scientists say, the rising costs are attributed to the fact that the most expensive medicines, such as rosiglitazone and increased use of insulin, are now being used more often.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has said that before medication is prescribed to people with diabetes, changes to lifestyle should be seen as the first step in undermining the type 2 condition.

  • 3 Comments

Readers' comments (3)

  • ... don't think this was in Clinical Pharmacist -- it's in Diabetic Medicine.
    -Anon-

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  • What would these scientists suggest for the thousands of diabetic sufferers. If they do not keep their blood sugar it can lead to further complications and even more expense. Is prevention no better than cure. These figures are not only for type 2 diabetes but also for type 1, so how accurate are these figures

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  • My regular prescription requests were being sent to the GP and collected by my local chemist.. I would inform the chemist what I needed, but my GP reported that all medications and lancets and testing strips were requested each time. I had not put in a request for all the items. I only received the items requested. My question is, how many times does this happen, and does this new service now account for the spiralling costs?

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