The diabetes drug bill rises to £ 1 billion a year


The crisis is laid bare in the data that reveal that 53.4 million prescriptions released by general practitioners were for a condition fueled by the UK obesity crisis – at a cost of over £ 1 billion at the time. year.

The NHS figures show that the number of articles prescribed for the debilitating condition has increased every year since 2007/08.

Robin Hewings, of Diabetes UK, said: "Diabetes is the biggest threat to our country's health.

"The number of people diagnosed has doubled over the past 20 years and is responsible for 26,000 premature deaths in the year as well as serious complications such as blindness, amputation or stroke.

"These data show that the prescription of diabetes costs £ 1 billion, but it is estimated that the total cost for the NHS is over £ 10 billion a year, so the real price we have to pay for diabetes is not the drugs, but the devastating and expensive complications ".

NHS Digital revealed yesterday that doctors in England spent 8.8 billion pounds to prescribe drugs in 2017/18 of which more than 1 billion pounds for diabetes.

Of those £ 476 million were spent on antidiabetic drugs, £ 350 million for insulin and £ 181 million for diagnostic and monitoring devices.

The entity of the crisis is now so vast that 10% of the entire health service budget is committed to fighting the condition, amounting to around £ 1 million an hour.

One of the most commonly prescribed antidiabetic drugs is metformin, which was distributed 21,163,271 times in 2017.

Type 1, an autoimmune disease suffered by Prime Minister Theresa May, occurs when the pancreas, a small gland behind the stomach, fails to produce insulin – the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. If the amount of glucose is too high, over time it can damage vital organs.

Only 10% of all sufferers have Type 1, but it is the most common type of childhood diabetes.

But in Type 2, the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or the cells do not react to insulin, which means that the remains of glucose are expended every hour in the blood and are not used as fuel for energy. .

Now it affects one adult in 10 with soaring cases due to our obsession with prepared foods.

The debilitating condition is usually triggered by an unhealthy life with fast and processed foods, sweets, cakes and cookies that raise blood sugar levels.

About four million are affected by both types of diabetes, but another 12 million chronically unhealthy lifestyles are at increased risk of type 2.

It means that 25% of the population of the United Kingdom has or could develop a disease that can kill.

The number of people treated for Type 2 exceeded 40% in four years (Image: Terry Vine / Getty Images)

The dott. Aseem Malhotra, NHS cardiologist and evidence-based medicine professor, said: "These statistics are shocking and highlight the urgency of type 2 inversion, which is possible through the change in pure diet up to 60% of patients.

What patients and physicians need to know is that drug treatment for Type 2 does not prolong life span and has side effects that can worsen quality of life and increase hospitalization. "

The number of people treated for Type 2, normally seen only in adults and linked to obesity, reached 40% in four years. Some in the United Kingdom have been affected for less than nine years, when the killer condition has affected only those in their mid-year & # 40;

A decade ago no child in Britain had the disease, but more than 700 now receive specialized treatments because of the food they eat.

Vascular surgeon Martin Claridge said: "The cost of these treatments and ongoing treatments will continue to grow and, as a society, we seem to be sleeping in the crisis, observing how the next generation develops metabolic disease before and during their lives. [it used to be rare below the age of 40 years].


Diabetic woman injecting herself into the abdomen with insulin (Image: Getty Images / Science Photo Library RM)

The NHS diabetes prevention program has reached over a quarter of a million high-risk type 2 people

Professor Jonathan Valabhji

We are spending millions of pounds and using huge amounts of health resources fighting Type 2 complications without recognizing or addressing the underlying causes that could prevent the incidence of the disease from increasing. This has a huge cost to the individuals themselves and to society as a whole. "

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, president of the Royal College of GPs, said: "For many patients with diabetes, drugs are essential to help them manage their condition and live a good quality of life.

"But we also know how to make simple lifestyle changes, for example, eating a healthy and balanced diet, losing weight and exercising more can prevent, delay or sometimes even reverse Type 2."

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, National Director of Diabetes and Obesity at the NHS England, said: "Thanks to better diagnosis and treatment, the NHS takes care of more people than ever with diabetes and these new data underline the urgent need to prevent Type 2 from Firstly, the NHS diabetes prevention program has reached over a quarter of a million high-risk type 2 people. "


How I beat the disease by MP Tom Watson (now lighter than 98 pounds)

SURVIVAL, inadequate and dependent on sugary snacks, Labor MP Tom Watson knew that his excessive size was due to his unhealthy lifestyle.

But for decades, the 51-year-old Labor Party deputy paid little attention to his diet until his doctor diagnosed Type 2 diabetes in 2015.

Like millions across the United Kingdom, it was obese and was almost completely lacking in sugary foods.

Petrified to die at fifty, he eventually swore to change and a year later a dietary review coupled with regular exercise, he put his condition in remission and no longer has to take medication.

Through a series of subtle changes in lifestyle he managed to lose 98 pounds in a year.

Mr. Watson's seven-stone road for recovery began by cutting sugar, refined sugar, processed foods and starchy carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and potatoes.


The overweight politician Tom Watson at the Glastonbury Music Festival in June 2017 (Image: OLI SCARFF / AFP / Getty Images)

Then he started exercising for the first time in 30 years, initially walking, then cycling, running, boxing and weight training.

Now he says that if he can do it, so can others at risk for type 2 diabetes.

He said: "During the trip I came to the conclusion that we have a whole nation struggling with similar weight and health issues, and it will only get worse.

"About 14 million adults in the United Kingdom are obese and about 15 million more are overweight, one third of our children leave the obese elementary school.

"Even the figures of the double evil of obesity, diabetes, are shocking: in 1998 only three percent of adults in England had diagnosed diabetes". In 2016 it had more than doubled to seven percent.


The new slim look by Tom Watson (Image: Ian West / PA Wire)

"Every year in the United Kingdom 26,000 people with diabetes die prematurely.

"One of the main drivers of this huge increase is sugar and the sugar industry".

Mr. Watson says his sleep has improved and his blood glucose levels are back to normal.

He said: "I consider myself a sugar-dependent reformer because I know that if I take sugar again, the condition will come back, but I am released, I do not get tired, I do not get the thing called" brain fog "when your sharpness mental attenuates a little.

"All of this is over."


The number of people diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes has doubled in the last 20 years, so it is not surprising that the cost of drugs has risen to over £ 1 billion a year.

With 12.3 million people at risk of developing Type 2, stopping the growing diabetes crisis should be a priority if we want to prevent the greatest health threat of our time from becoming a reality.

Type 2 can be caused by a variety of factors, some are out of people's control – including age, family history and ethnic background.

Overweight people are more likely to get Type 2. Unlike Type 1, three in five Type 2 cases can be prevented or delayed by making healthier choices, helping people understand their risk of developing the condition – and how reduce and – guaranteeing an early diagnosis to those known for high risk.

Diabetes does not cost only £ 1 billion in drug costs, the total cost to the national health service is over £ 10 billion due to the devastating and costly complications.


The debilitating condition is usually triggered by an unhealthy life (Image: Justin Paget / Getty Images)

In England and Wales, 26,000 people with diabetes die prematurely every year and many of these deaths are caused by preventable complications, such as heart disease, kidney failure and stroke.

The number of amputations related to diabetes in England has reached its all-time high, with over 8,500 procedures performed each year.

This equates to 24 minor and major amputations per day or more than 160 per week.

The true price we have to pay for diabetes is not the drugs prescribed for treating those diagnosed with the condition, but the overall human and financial cost of complications for our society as a whole.

In addition to helping people reduce their risk of diabetes through the NHS prevention program, we should focus on spending more money now to help people manage their diabetes well.

The NHS long-term plan must ensure that people receive the education, care, treatment and technology they need to help them control their conditions in a safe way.

Robin Hewings is Head of Policy of Diabetes UK


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