Cost of insulin analogues – NHS has wasted £625 million on analogue insulin in the past 10 years
Research published online in BMJ Open has shown that the NHS has spent an extra £625 million over the past 10 years on analogue insulins when the recommended human insulin alternatives, which are considerably cheaper, would probably have been just as effective. During this period, insulin analogues were 47% more expensive than human insulin. The authors base their findings on an analysis from the four UK prescription pricing agencies for the years 2000 to 2009. [Costs were adjusted for inflation and reported at 2010 prices.]
Over the 10 years:
- The NHS spent a total of £2,732 million on insulin with the annual cost rising by 130%, from £156 million to £359 million.
- Prescriptions for analogue insulin accounted for £1,629m [59% of the total]. Human insulin accounted for £1,056m [39% of the total] and animal insulin accounted for £47.2m [2% of the total].
- The annual cost of analogue insulin rose from £18.2 million [12% of the total] to £305 million [85% of the total].
- The cost of human insulin fell from £131 million [84% of the total] to £51 million [14% of the total].