Area spending more on diabetes medicine

�6.7 million was spent on prescribing medicines for diabetes in this area. Photo: PA Images.
�6.7 million was spent on prescribing medicines for diabetes in this area. Photo: PA Images.

The NHS in the East Riding of Yorkshire spends £36 more on diabetes drugs per patient than it did five years ago, figures reveal.

The charity Diabetes UK says the disease is “one of our biggest health crises”, and the health service allocated more than £1 billion in the last financial year alone to devices and drugs to deal with it.

NHS Digital figures show that East Riding of Yorkshire CCG forked out £6.7 million on prescribing medicines for diabetes in 2018-19 – an average of £332 on each patient, up from £296 in 2013-14.

Across England, the average spend was £328 last year.

With spend varying between different parts of the country, Diabetes UK policy manager Nikki Joule said: “There are, of course, multiple factors to consider, but it is of greater concern that the areas that spend less may not be ensuring everyone is on the most effective medications for them. However, it is vital that drugs being prescribed are reviewed regularly, not only to ensure patients receive the most effective therapy, but also to reduce waste.”

The NHS bill for treating diabetes has ballooned nationally over the last five years, from more than £800 million in 2013-14 to nearly £1.1 billion in 2018-19.

Overall, East Riding of Yorkshire CCG issued 337,000 prescriptions for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, for around 20,100 patients with diabetes.

The data also shows that the NHS spent £2 million on insulin in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Devices to monitor patients’ health, like glucose monitors or fitness trackers, cost £1.1 million.

An NHS spokesman said: “Thanks to better diagnosis, the NHS is caring for more people with diabetes than ever before and this is another reminder of the urgent need to prevent Type 2 diabetes from developing in the first place.

“Diabetes and its complications cost the NHS billions every year, which is exactly why our NHS Long Term Plan will help 200,000 people a year to benefit from our world-leading Type 2 diabetes prevention programme.”