£223m Spent On Diabetes Drugs

6 July 2014, 06:23 | Updated: 6 July 2014, 06:24

The NHS has spent almost £230 million on drugs to treat diabetes and obesity in the last three years, figures show.

Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw claimed the two conditions are not only "harming the health of our population, they are damaging NHS finances too''.

A total of 3,340,313 items were dispensed to treat diabetes in Scotland in 2013-14, at a cost of £75.7 million.

That is up from the bill of £73.2 million last year and £74.2 million in 2011-12.

In the past three years a total of £223.1 million has been spent on prescriptions for diabetes, with a further £6.1 million going on prescriptions to treat obesity over the same period.

A total of 52,412 items were dispensed last year - about 1,000 a week - at a cost of £1.9 million

That is up from the cost of £1.5 million in 2012-13, but lower than the previous year, when £2.7 million was spent on prescriptions to help treat obesity.

Mr Carlaw said: "Of course not every case of diabetes is related to weight, there are a range of reasons. But the fact prescriptions for both diabetes and obesity are rising at an alarming rate year-on-year cannot be ignored.

"While we need the NHS and Scottish Government to do all they can to force through messages on healthy living, it isn't just down to them. There has to be a level of personal responsibility.

"Obesity generally isn't something you catch on a bus, and people know that a healthy diet and active lifestyle are what's required to keep the weight down.

"If they don't, diabetes is just one of the serious conditions lurking round the corner.

"As we can see from these figures, not only are these two conditions harming the health of our population, they are damaging NHS finances too.''

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Obesity and diabetes are on the increase across Europe and Scotland is no exception.

"Our Diabetes Action Plan, which will be updated this summer, sets out a clear commitment to the prevention and early detection of diabetes and to improve the treatment and care of people with diabetes.

"Although the number of people with Type 2 diabetes has increased in the last year, the number of prescriptions per person has remained at the same level.

"We recognise that obesity is a serious issue and are taking a range of measures to make it easier for people to be more active, to eat less, and to eat better.

"We are supporting child healthy weight interventions and are increasing opportunities for children to get involved in sport and physical activity, through active schools and our target of all primary children having two hours of PE lessons a week. We also recently announced a £50 million investment in school sport.''