Total spending on diabetes prescribing in England hit £1.07bn in 2018/19 - one pound in every eight spent on prescribing in primary care, according to figures published by NHS Digital.
The proportion of primary care prescribing costs that relate to diabetes has climbed sharply over the past decade, from just 7% in 2008/9 to 12.5% in 2018/9.
This rapid rise in the proportion of primary care prescribing spending consumed by diabetes treatments reflects the fact that while total spending on primary care prescribing has risen just 6% over the past decade, diabetes prescribing costs have risen by a staggering 79%.
Much of the rise has been driven by a sharp increase in spending on antidiabetic drugs, which totalled £540m in 2018/19 - half of total diabetes prescribing costs in primary care. A decade earlier antidiabetic drug costs accounted for just over a quarter of total diabetes prescribing costs in primary care.
Diabetes prescribing per patient with diabetes cost £327.78 on average across England in 2018/19 - but variation between CCG areas is significant.
In NHS Kernow CCG, the highest-spending area, diabetes prescribing cost £587.12 per patient with diabetes in 2018/19. This is almost three times the amount spent per patient in NHS Northumberland CCG - where the average for 2018/19 was £208.07.