Health: Diabetes

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Lord Harrison Lord Harrison Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost of diabetes and its effects.

Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Diabetes is a complex life-long condition that can affect every part of the body. There are a number of associated complications with the condition which makes it difficult to calculate the exact total cost to the National Health Service.

The department's programme budget figures indicate £1.26 billion of departmental gross expenditure in England in 2008-09 was spent on diabetes. This figure does not include spending on prevention or on general medical services or primary medical services.

Diabetes expenditure DH gross expenditure Diabetes as a proportion of gross expenditure
2004-05 687,402 71,922,179 1.0%
2005-06 866,000 80,185,241 1.1%
2006-07 1,043,021 84,193,209 1.2%
2007-08 1,151,183 93,183,426 1.2%
2008-09 1,262,066 96,814,987 1.3%

In England in 2008, according to the NHS Business Services Authority, about £595 million for diabetes-related items was spent on prescriptions dispensed in the community; ie by community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors, and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered. Also included are prescriptions written in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man but dispensed in England.

Drug group NIC(£000s)
Insulins 285,764.0
Antidiabetic drugs 165,323.6
Treatment of hypoglycaemia 3,092.1
Diagnostic and monitoring agents 139,147.6
Total 593,327.3

(Net Ingredient Cost (NIC)

NIC is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income).

Further expenditure will have taken place throughout the NHS system that is not possible to identify. Diabetes UK estimates spending in the United Kingdom is approximately £9 billion across the NHS.

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