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Study shows large rise in prescriptions for diabetes

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What are the spending trends for diabetes drugs?

Prescribing for diabetes grew more than twice as fast (4.7%) as the rise in overall prescribing in primary care (2%) during the past year, says the report Prescribing for diabetes: England 2006/07 to 2016/17, by NHS Digital.

Metformin prescriptions have also more than doubled over the past decade, from 9.4m prescriptions in 2006/7 to 20.8m in 2016/17.

Spending on the disease has also increased. Around £1 in every £9 spent on prescriptions in primary care being for diabetes in 2016/17. In 2006/7 it was less than £1 in every £14.

While the cost of overall prescriptions in primary care fell, the cost of diabetes drugs rose, according to the report Drugs used in diabetes by NHS Digital.

Further information

NHS Digital: Increase in prescriptions for diabetes exceeds rise in overall prescribing

RCGP: It’s important patients with diabetes are given appropriate treatment, regardless of costs, says RCGP