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Diabetes medicines account for one tenth of all primary care prescribing

Medicine to treat diabetes in England now accounts for 10% of the yearly total spend on prescriptions, Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) research revealed.

This is part of a steady increase of diabetes spending, up from 9.5% in 2013/14 and from 6.6% in 2005/06.

There were 6.7 million insulin items prescribed, accounting for 14.1% of all items prescribed for diabetes, and there was 33.4 million anti-diabetic drug items prescribed, accounting for 70.8% of all items prescribed for diabetes.

“Diabetes continues to be one of the most prevalent long term conditions, and the number of patients being diagnosed with the condition is increasing each year,” said Ian Bullard, the responsible statistician for the report.

London was the region with the largest amount of items prescribed for diabetes, with 5.8% of the total number of diabetes prescriptions, and Birmingham and the Black Country was second, with 5.2%.

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear has the least number of items prescribed for diabetes in England, with 3.7% of the total. Durham, Darlington & Tees, Merseyside, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly were the second lowest, all with 3.8%.