This site is intended for health professionals only

650,000 people with diabetes are not taking their tablets

More than 650,000 people with type 2 diabetes are risking long-term health complications because they are failing to take their prescribed medication.

In the UK, around one million people with type 2 diabetes treat their condition with tablets. Diabetes UK is calling for improved patient education and better communication between healthcare professionals and people with diabetes to improve the current situation where two in three people who should treat their diabetes with tablets (650,000) are not taking them.

Previous research has shown that many people with diabetes do not take their tablets because they do not understand what they are for and what the long-term health benefits are.

In addition, many people with diabetes take a plethora of tablets, and research has also shown that people who are prescribed many tablets struggle more than those who take one.

"It is a tragedy that such a high proportion of people are not taking their prescribed medication. Many people struggle to realise the importance of taking their medicines, especially if the consequences are not immediately apparent despite the fact that damage caused is irreparable," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK.

"Effectively controlling type 2 diabetes can reduce the risk of heart disease by 56%, and eye disease and kidney disease by 33%.

"Diabetes UK is currently working with healthcare professionals and diabetes communities to encourage and support people with diabetes to ask questions and be more involved in their healthcare through care planning. People with diabetes who have a good knowledge of their treatment options are better equipped to make informed decisions about medicines and other ways of managing their diabetes."

Diabetes UK