A new health economics study has determined the costs and savings involved in delivering the innovative type 2 diabetes (T2D) remission programme, Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) through the NHS.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow and Newcastle University compared the treatment costs of 2 groups in DiRECT, i.e. those receiving weight loss programme and those receiving currently available NHS care.
The study findings show that remission programmes could save costs for health service if they were to become available. A remission plan is estimated to cost the NHS ~£1067 per person or the first 12 months taking into account the cost of training the health care professional and a low-calorie formula diet. After 12 months of the DiRECT study, 46% of participants achieved remission. The researchers have estimated a cost of £2564 for each person successfully going into remission.
NHS England has agreed to pilot the remission programme for 5000 people with T2D in 2019. According to Professor Andrew Briggs from the University of Glasgow, a remission programme could serve as a relatively inexpensive alternative to the management of T2D, with additional savings expected in later stages.
Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: "If people can remain in remission, and therefore reduce their risk of developing serious diabetes-related complications in the future, the cost savings to the NHS could be significant."