Diabetes prescriptions up 50 per cent in six years
The number of prescriptions written out by doctors for treating diabetes has reached record levels, new figures show.
Data released this week from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) reveals that the amount of drugs prescribed for the condition has risen by 6.1 per cent in the last year and 50 per cent in the past six years.
Currently 2.5 million people suffer from diabetes in England but the figure is expected to top 4.2 million by 2025.
The net cost of drugs for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes has also risen by just under 50 per cent in the six years between 2005-06 and 2011-12.
The findings have been called a major “wake up call” by Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK.
"We face the real possibility of diabetes bankrupting the NHS within a generation,” she said.
"This is why we need to grasp the nettle on preventing Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for around 90% of diabetes cases.
"We need a government-funded awareness-raising campaign on the risk factors and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes and we need to get much better at identifying people at high risk so they can be given the support they need to prevent the condition."
HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan added that the figures show that diabetes is having a major impact on prescribing and that the condition is stretching all levels of the health service, from pharmacies to care in hospital wards.
A recent report published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) called for more diabetes testing services to be offered to people aged over 40.
The body proposed using places such as libraries and even job centres as places where people can drop in to have their blood tested.