Published 5 November 2020.
Diabetes features as one of the priorities for care and quality outcomes in the NHS Long Term Plan.
This publication aims to describe the prescribing of medicines and appliances used for the treatment of diabetes in a primary care setting in England that are dispensed in the community.
This does not include data on medicines used in secondary care, prisons, or issued by a private prescriber.
This is an experimental Official Statistics release.
- The number of prescription items used primarily in the treatment of diabetes has increased every year between 2015/16 and 2019/20.
- The number of patients has also increased every year between 2015/16 and 2019/20 but has not increased as much as items. This has resulted in a greater number of items per patient in 2019/20 than in previous years.
- The total cost of diabetes drugs prescribed has increased since 2015/16, driven by large increases in costs of antidiabetic drugs and insulin. These increases are larger than both the number of items prescribed and the number of patients. This has resulted in increased cost per person in 2019/20 than in previous years.
- Antidiabetic drugs remain the most prescribed of the diabetes items. Prescribing for all categories increased between 2018/19 and 2019/20, except for diabetic diagnostic and monitoring agents, which decreased by 6%.
- Overall demographics of patients have remained steady over the last five years. The median age has remained constant at 64 and the split by sex has remained 55% male and 45% female patients since 2015/16.
- Areas of greatest deprivation have the highest number of patients per population receiving diabetes medicines, with 8.6% of people in the most deprived areas receiving diabetes medication, compared to 3.4% of people in the least deprived areas. This pattern is replicated at drug levels, with 7.5% of the population in the most deprived areas receiving antidiabetic drugs, compared to 2.9% of people in the least deprived areas.
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Responsible statistician: Bethany Ogle.