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Publication, Part of

Prescribing for Diabetes in England 2008/09 - 2018/19

Official statistics

Current Chapter

Prescribing for Diabetes in England 2008/09 - 2018/19


This publication reports on trends in the prescribing of medicines for the treatment and monitoring of diabetes in England from 2008/09 to 2018/19.

Total cost of prescribing

12.5% of the total cost of prescribing in 2018/19 was for the treatment of diabetes

In 2018/19, the Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) of prescribing in primary care was £8,630 million. Of this, £1,075 million was allocated to drugs and devices used in diabetes.

This is the highest cost of any individual section in the British National Formulary (BNF).

Cost of diabetes prescribing by category

The cost of prescribing for antidiabetic drugs has increased more than for other categories of drugs used in diabetes

The NIC for antidiabetic drugs has increased from £168 million in 2008/09 to £540 million in 2018/19, which is an increase of 221.2%.

This is a higher increase than for the NIC of insulins, which has increased over the same time period by 22.5%, and the NIC of diagnostic and monitoring devices, which has increased by 26.8%.

Cost per patient

The average cost of diabetes drugs prescribed per patient with diabetes was £327.78 in 2018/19

NIC per patient on the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) diabetes register varied between £208.07 and £587.12 at the CCG level. 131 CCGs were within ±10% of the National average.

View the full results and graphical visualisations of the data in the Results section

Please note, data for 2014/15 to 2018/19 has been revised slightly to match changes in how the prescription data is processed and held by the NHS BSA. Users should always use data from the latest publication where available.

Cost per patient for a CCG may be affected by General Practices being excluded from the QOF diabetes register (for example, Kernow CCG). A list of those practices where validators have requested that they are excluded from the QOF figures can be found by filtering on the ‘NHS Digital Comment / Action’ column of the ‘QOF 2018-19: Practice validation comments’ file published here.

Administrative Sources

NHS BSA, Quality and Outcomes Framework,ePACT, QOF, NDA

Last edited: 11 November 2019 3:52 pm