Diabetes cases threaten NHS Budget
The charity, Diabetes UK have warned that the rapid increase in cases of the disease could cause significant problems to the NHS budget in future. The number of people diagnosed with the condition in England and Wales has gone up by nearly 60% in the past decade. There are now 3.3 million people living with some form of the condition compared to 2.1 million in 2005.
Diabetes medication now represents 10% of the overall NHS drugs bill with cases set to rise even further. Last year, the bill for insulin and other diabetes related drugs reached £869 million. Nine out of Ten cases relate to type 2 diabetes which is directly linked to diet and obesity. Diabetes UK chief executive, Barbara Young, is calling on the government to take action now to prevent the situation spiraling out of control, as over 5 million people are predicted to be suffering from the disease by 2025.
“Over the past decade, the number of people living with diabetes in the UK has increased by over one million, which is the equivalent of the population of a small country such as Cyprus. With a record number of people now living with diabetes in the UK, there is no time to waste – the government must act now,” She told the Guardian. “Diabetes already costs the NHS nearly £10bn a year, and 80% of this is spent on managing avoidable complications. So there is huge potential to save money and reduce pressure on NHS hospitals and services through providing better care to prevent people with diabetes from developing devastating and costly complications.”