Sunday, 27 November 2011
One question that makes me blench a little is "how much does it cost to treat an average person with diabetes for one year?" as I know I'm on to a loser there.
First of all it depends if they are using medication (which might be insulin, or tablets or both - but are we including tablets to treat blood pressure and blood fats as well as glucose) and they might be using glucose test strips too. They might be on a pump or using multiple daily injections and we've not even got on to the type of insulin they're using. Also cost to whom? Prescriptions for medications for diabetes are (or should be) free to the person who has diabetes, although other presriptions aren't. Costs do vary for different drugs though.
The cost of diabetes drugs can be found in Prescribing for Diabetes in England documents (you can just imagine how delighted I was to happen across these)...
Prescribing for Diabetes in England 2005/06 to 2010/11 (published 24 August 2011)
Prescribing for Diabetes in England: 2004/05 to 2009/10(published 30 July 2010)
Prescribing for Diabetes in England: Supplement - January 2002 to March 2009 (published 15 September 2009)
...and TheyWorkForYou often has random costs illustrated with a table (it depends entirely on what question might have been asked in Parliament) but what of the costs of other interventions and hospital episodes?
Hospital Episode Statistics give a nice overview of the numbers of completed interventions but I don't think I've spotted much in the way of costs. The NHS IC have recently tweaked their portal (it's all frames, everything's the same URL, fetch the smelling salts!) as have the Office for National Statistics (they're very helpful on Twitter).
Where should I be looking?
UKSKEPTICS has suggested NHS reference costs, which looks promising to start with: