The latest statistics from the British Medical Association (BMA) show that doctors are more likely to recommend the use of insulin than for patients to use a diet and exercise programme to treat the condition.
The figures, released by the BMA’s National Prescribing Service (NPS), showed that in 2016, the average doctor who had a GP in England recommended the use and administration of insulin to patients with diabetes.
However, just 11 per cent of doctors recommended a diet programme for diabetes.
In contrast, 15 per cent recommended a physical activity programme.
But when it came to prescribing medications for diabetes, only 2 per cent were prescribing insulin.
In 2016, a survey carried out by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) revealed that 17 per cent said they would recommend the prescription of insulin for a diabetic patient to a GP.
That is a staggering number of doctors prescribing the drug.
More: A doctor will only recommend insulin for diabetes if he or she is told by a GP that a diabetic person is in a serious condition and will need to be referred to specialist treatment.
Dr Jodie Hickey, a GP consultant at St George’s Hospital, Birmingham, said that she was not surprised that doctors were prescribing the insulin.
“I think it’s a very, very common thing for doctors to prescribe it.
I think that’s part of the normalisation of insulin prescribing,” she told the BBC.
The BMA has been working with the NHS to get better data about prescribing insulin to people with diabetes, which it said will help it to provide better guidance.
“It’s important that doctors understand the type of diabetes and that they’re prescribing insulin for people in the right conditions,” said Dr Hickey.
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