Barry Sheerman – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Barry Sheerman on 2015-10-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what comparative assessment he has made of uptake and use by the NHS of new treatments for people living with diabetes with health systems in other EU countries.

Jane Ellison

The Office of Health Economics (OHE) report International Comparison of Medicines Usage: Quantitative Analysis, published last year, showed that uptake of newer and more expensive drugs to treat diabetes was lower than comparator countries. However, uptake of more established therapies was considerably higher.

It is important to note that high use of drugs does not mean more people are cured. There are a number of legitimate factors which influence usage, and therefore variation, such as populations with differing health needs. The Research and Development (RAND) Europe report International variation in drugs usage: an exploratory analysis, published at the same time as the OHE report – seeks to define some of these factors and can be found at the link below:


Our focus is on tackling unjustified variation where it exists.