Experts say that 80% of the £9.8bn annual bill goes on treating the complications and after effects, rather than focusing on preventative action such as education and regular health checks.
3.8m people living in the UK currently have diabetes. Experts in the journal say that, if more is not done to stem the increasing number, diabetes will cost the NHS £16.8bn by 2035 – 17% of its entire budget.
Complications with diabetes occur when patients are unable to control the amount of glucose entering their system, leading to problems such as retina damage, kidney failure and strokes.
Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in childhood, and currently costs the NHS £1bn, while type 2 appears later, and costs the much higher figure of £8.8bn.
Baroness Barbara Young from Diabetes UK was one of those involved in writing the report, and she said: "If this rise in diabetes is allowed to continue, as is happening at the moment, it will simply be disastrous for the NHS and wreck NHS budgets. I think we have a car crash coming.
She added that much of this was preventable, which she cites as “hugely wasteful - in human life, in the quality of human life, and in NHS budgets. We need to stop this now and make sure people get the right sort of care early on in their condition."