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Prescribing for Diabetes in England - 2005/06 to 2012/13

This is part of

Official statistics
Publication date:
Geographic coverage:
Geographical granularity:
Country, Primary Care Trusts
Date range:
01 Apr 2005 to 31 Mar 2013


This report is the latest in a series of publications on diabetes by The Health and Social Care Information Centre. It covers the period 2005-06 to 2012-13.

Key facts

  • In the financial year 2012-13 there were 42.5 million items prescribed for diabetes (BNF section 6.1) at a net ingredient cost of £764.1 million.  This was a 4.7 per cent (1.9 million) rise in the number of items, from 40.6 million in 2011-12, and a 0.5 per cent (£3.8 million) rise in the net ingredient cost, from £760.3 million in 2011-12. In comparison, overall prescribing costs fell between 2011-12 and 2012-13 by 3.9 per cent.
  • Prescribing for diabetes accounted for 4.3 per cent of total items and 9.3 per cent of the total cost of prescribing in 2012-13, compared with 4.2 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively in 2011-12, and 3.8 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively in 2005-06.
  • Over the period 2005-06 to 2012-13 there was an increase in the number of items for diabetes of 56.9 per cent (15.4 million) and in net ingredient cost of 48.7 per cent (£250.2 million). In 2005-06 there were 27.1 million items at a cost of £513.9 million. This growth compares with a growth of 37.4 per cent in items and 6.6 per cent for cost of all prescribing over the same period.
  • In 2012-13 there were 6.2 million insulin items (BNF 6.1.1), representing 14.6 per cent of all items prescribed for diabetes, prescribed at a net ingredient cost of £320.0 million.  Compared with the previous financial year this was an increase of 2.6 per cent in the number of items from 6.1 million and a 1.7 per cent increase in net ingredient cost from £314.7 million. Human analogue insulins were the most commonly prescribed form of insulin.
  • In 2012-13 there were 29.7 million items prescribed for Antidiabetic drugs (BNF 6.1.2), representing 69.8 per cent of all items for diabetes, at a net ingredient cost of £273.0 million.  This was an increase of 5.9 per cent in the number of items and a 2.9 per cent decrease in net ingredient cost compared to 2011-12 (when there were 28.0 million Antidiabetic drug items prescribed at a net ingredient cost of £281.0 million).  Since 2005-06, items and net ingredient cost of Antidiabetic drugs have increased by 83.9 per cent and 86.0 per cent respectively.


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Last edited: 27 June 2018 9:32 am