The number of prescriptions made by GPs in England for diabetes medications has risen to record levels, according to a new report.
Published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), the report reveals that some 15.4 million more drugs were authorised for treatment of diabetes in 2012/13 compared to seven years ago, costing the NHS an extra £250.2 million.
In 2005/06, a total of 27.1 million diabetes drugs, including insulin products and oral/injectable medicines for type 2 diabetes, were prescribed at an overall cost of £513.9million.
But in the last financial year, 42.5 million diabetes prescriptions were made – up 57% – at a cost of £764.1million.
According to the official statistics, items to treat diabetes now account for 9.3% of the total cost of prescribing in the NHS and 4.3% of all items, compared with just 6.6% of cost and 3.8% of items in 2005/06.
The HSCIC says the rise in prescriptions and costs is due to a combination of a growing diabetes rates and the availability of newer, more expensive medications to tackle the disease.

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