Diabetes - Credit- towfiqu barbhuiya

NHS report shows diabetes drugs prescribed increased by 8 million since 2015/16

NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has just released its statistical report ‘Prescribing for diabetes England 2015/2016 to 2020/2021’.

Key findings of the report include that in 2020/21, there have been 57.9 million drugs used in treating diabetes prescribed in England for a cost of £1.19 billion. This is 12.5% of the total spend on all prescription items prescribed in England. It is an increase from 2015/16 where 49.7 million diabetes items were prescribed for a cost of £958 million - 10.4% of the total spend.

Other key findings show there were over 3.05 million identified patients that were prescribed drugs used in diabetes in England in 2020/21. This was a 1.5% increase from 3 million identified patients in 2019/20, and a 12.7% increase from 2.70 million in 2015/16.

The most deprived areas in England have the highest number of identified patients being prescribed drugs used in treating diabetes in 2020/21.

The most common age group prescribed these drugs in 2020/21 is 70 to 74, this has increased from 2015/16 where the most common age group was 65 to 69.

In England in 2020/21, 43.1 million antidiabetic drug items were prescribed at a cost of £686 million. The costs of antidiabetic drugs have increased by 62% since 2015/16 from £423 million.

To read the report go to: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/statistical-collections/prescribing-diabetes-england/prescribing-diabetes-england-201516-202021

Contact Information

Sahdia Hassen



Notes to editors

If you have any questions or queries about these statistics please don't hesitate to get in touch with the media team. 

Patients who are diagnosed with diabetes may qualify for a medical exemption certificate which entitles them to free prescriptions. For more information go to: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption-certificates/medical-exemption-certificates.

Attached photo: Copyright free. Please credit Towfiqu Barbhuiya.