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Behind the headlines: diabetes prescriptions soar by 50% in six years

16 August 2012

Behind the headlines:  diabetes prescriptions soar by 50% in six years

You may have read in news reports recently that over 40million prescriptions were written for diabetes drugs last year. This is 50% more prescriptions than were being prescribed six years ago.

While most of this rise is being attributed to the increase in type 2 diabetes, insulin costs account for over half of the NHS bill. Insulin products cost the NHS £314 million per year but account for only 30% of the total diabetes drugs prescribed. Type 2 drugs which account for 70% of diabetes drugs prescribed cost £281 million.

Although, some people with type 2 use insulin, it is still predominantly prescribed for people with type 1.

The number of people with type 1 is growing and could reach 650,000 by 2036 if the incidence keeps growing at the current rate.  This is only going to increase the cost to the government and these are costs which cannot be reduced by lifestyle intervention.

The only way to reduce the cost burden of type 1 is to invest in research to find the cure.

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