Diabetes prescribing growth 'does not match prevalence or outcomes'

The cost and volume of prescription items for diabetes has risen dramatically in the last five years, but geographical variations in these figures do not match prevalence, the DoH national clinical director for diabetes has warned.

The number of diabetes-related prescriptions items issued in the last five years has risen by 55 per cent, and the total cost of these items has risen 88 per cent.

The total number of items prescribed in primary care to treat diabetes was 28.4 million in 2006, up 7.4 per cent on the previous year. The cost of these items increased by 13.6 per cent to £561.4 million in 2006.

National clinical director for diabetes Sue Roberts said there was ‘little evidence’ that  variations in prescribing and spending were ‘matched by corresponding contrasts in prevalence or outcome’.

She hopes the figures, released in ‘Prescribing for Diabetes for England’ this week will provoke debate to ‘establish what is happening in terms of prescribing at the frontline’.


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