My colleague Mary Glindon was absolutely right to raise concerns over NICE plans to limit access to drugs on cost grounds. But there are other concerns worrying people with some long term conditions.
There are 4.6 million people living with diabetes in the UK. In the next fifteen years a further 1 million are likely be diagnosed as Type 2. Diabetes costs the NHS £10 billion a year and we need a prevention programme and improved care for diabetics.
The UK does not make insulin and last month the Government’s own adviser warned about the impact of a no deal Brexit on supply. Transport is difficult because insulin is time and temperature sensitive. The Health Secretary’s announcement that the NHS would be stockpiling drugs in the event of us crashing out did little to reassure anyone.
Further concern has been raised by the charity Diabetes UK. The Government announced increased funding for the NHS, welcome but not enough, and asked NHS England to pull together a 10 Year Plan. Diabetes is not an early clinical work stream and if it’s not a priority there are concerns about the future of self management education, specialist foot care teams and specialist nurses.
As Parliament returns after the recess I will be raising these concerns with Ministers not least because unless Government faces up to the challenge of diabetes now, the financial sustainability of the NHS will be at risk in the future.