NHS officials are reportedly considering proposing that GPs prescribe cheaper alternatives of blood glucose testing strips, needles and pens for people with type 2 diabetes.
The recommendation is part of a crackdown by NHS England on certain treatments, in a bid to save up to £68m a year.
It had initially been unclear whether this move would apply to people with type 1 diabetes and/or type 2 diabetes, but the release of a consultation document has confirmed the crackdown would only affect people with type 2 diabetes.
It should be stated that the reported proposal is not to scrap these items, rather to find “more cost-effective products”.
We are currently awaiting information on which alternatives are being considered, when this proposal will be discussed in further detail and how much the move may affect people with type 2 diabetes.
Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, said: “The NHS is one of the most efficient health services in the world but, as part of the long-term plan for the NHS, we’re determined to make taxpayers’ money go further and drive savings back into frontline care.”
NHS England also plans to no longer prescribe silk nightwear and gloves for people with eczema and dermatitis, due to a lack of evidence of their effectiveness, and will restrict access to gluten-free foods such as pizzas for people with celiac disease.
Additionally, four drugs will no longer be prescribed: Aliskiren – used to treat blood pressure, Amiodarone – to treat abnormal heart rhythms, Dronedarone – to treat the heart condition atrial fibrillatio, and Minocycline – to treat acne.
Many pharmacies have already begun phasing out some of these items, including gluten-free bread and other products.
Diabetes.co.uk will be keeping track of the developments regarding this story and report any further information as soon as it becomes available.

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