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By Neil Trainis

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Annual primary care spending on the prescribing of diabetes drugs rose by £88 million in 2015-16, bringing the total cost to almost £1 billion according to official figures.

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Statistics released by NHS Digital reveal that prescribing spend on diabetes reached £956.7 million, the equivalent of £2.6 million a day.

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In the last financial year 49.7 million prescription items for the treatment and management of diabetes were dispensed in England.

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The figures were drilled down by NHS Digital's report Prescribing for Diabetes 2005/06 to 2015/16 which found that 17.9% of Newham CCG's total prescribing spend went on diabetes drugs, the largest percentage of any CCG in England. Newham also recorded the highest percentage of diabetes drugs dispensed in England.

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In primary care the treatments which came at the greatest cost to the NHS were antidiabetic drugs (£422.7 million), prescribed insulin (£343.7 million) and prescribed diagnostic and monitoring devices (£186.6 million).

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