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Publication, Part of

Prescribing for Diabetes in England - 2005/06 to 2013/14

Official statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Country, Primary Care Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Primary Care Organisations
Date Range:
01 Apr 2005 to 31 Mar 2014


This report shows on prescribing trends for medicines prescribed in primary care in England for the treatment of diabetes for the period April 2005 to March 2014.


This is the latest in a series of annual reports published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on Prescribing for Diabetes in England, within primary care.


Diabetes is a high profile clinical area, as the prevalence is increasing and costs associated with treating patients with diabetes are also increasing.


  • In the financial year 2013-14 there were 45.1 million items prescribed for diabetes (BNF section 6.1) at a net ingredient cost of £803.1 million. This was a 6.1 per cent (2.6 million) rise in the number of items, from 42.5 million in 2012-13, and a 5.1 per cent (£39.0 million) rise in the net ingredient cost, from £764.1 million in 2012-13. In comparison, overall prescribing costs between 2012-13 and 2013-14 rose by 3.2 per cent, and overall prescribing items rose by 3.6 per cent.
  • Prescribing for diabetes accounted for 4.4 per cent of total items and 9.5 per cent of the total cost of prescribing in 2013-14, compared with 4.3 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively in 2012-13, and 3.8 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively in 2005-6.
  • Over the period 2005-6 to 2013-14 there was an increase in the number of items for diabetes of 66.5 per cent (18.0 million) and in net ingredient cost of 56.3 per cent (£289.2 million). In 2005-6 there were 27.1 million items at a cost of £513.9 million. This growth compares with a growth of 42.3 per cent in items and 8.2 per cent for cost of all prescribing over the same period.
  • In 2013-14 there were 6.5 million insulin items (BNF 6.1.1), representing 14.3 per cent of all items prescribed for diabetes, prescribed at a net ingredient cost of £328.3 million.  Compared with the previous financial year this was an increase of 4.0 per cent in the number of items from 6.2 million and a 2.6 per cent increase in net ingredient cost from £320.0 million. Human analogue insulins were the most commonly prescribed form of insulin.
  • In 2013-14 there were 31.7 million items prescribed for Antidiabetic drugs (BNF 6.1.2), representing 70.3 per cent of all items for diabetes, at a net ingredient cost of £295.6.0 million.  This was an increase of 6.9 per cent in the number of items and 8.3 per cent in net ingredient cost compared to 2012-13 (when there were 29.7 million Antidiabetic drug items prescribed at a net ingredient cost of £273.0 million). Since 2005-6, items and net ingredient cost of Antidiabetic drugs have increased by 96.6 per cent and 101.4 per cent respectively.

Administrative Sources

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


Related Links

Last edited: 27 July 2018 11:17 am