Diabetes in writingNew drugs which could improve the lives of people with diabetes could be delayed for several years under a new system being introduced by NHS England at the end of the month.

Health treatments which are expected to cost £20 million or more could be put on hold for up to three years while the price of the drug, or the numbers of people receiving it, is considered. It’s estimated this cap on funding could affect one in five new treatments in the NHS.

The cap is likely to have an enormous impact on people who have conditions such as diabetes. Given the millions of people with diabetes who could benefit from a treatment, the easier it could be to breach the £20 million limit. Diabetes UK said that if Lucentis, the drug which helps prevent blindness for people with diabetes retinopathy, were introduced under this new threshold today, it would be put on hold.

Diabetes UK and other health charities have been opposing these proposals and have signed a letter to The Times highlighting the devastating impact this could have on people living with serious long term health conditions.

Under the current system treatments are required to be funded within three months of being approved by NICE.