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Average Briton spends almost £8.5k "being ill" in adult lifetime

Friday 5th July 2013

New research from a money saving and voucher code website in the UK suggests that the average Briton will spend almost £8500 being ill in their adult lifetime.

The research took into account prescription costs, over the counter medication and any other tablets or medicine purchased by Britons.

Some 67% of those polled admitted there have been times they haven't taken medication even though they probably needed it; with the main reason being cost.

The study, conducted by www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, polled 2146 adults from around the UK as part of ongoing research into financial expenditure in different areas of life.

The average cost, as stated by respondents, was a "£5.60" spend each time illness occurred. None of the respondents that took part in the poll were exempt from paying prescription fees. When taking into account that the average life expectancy in the UK is 81 years, making the average adult life time 63 years, that would mean that the average British adult is ill to the point of needing to take medication 1512 times in their life. When looking at the average spend on medicine each time illness occurs, that would equate to a total spend of £8467.20 on "being ill" over the course of a British adult's lifetime.

To gain a little more insight into how honest the UK public were being with themselves regarding their health, respondents were asked if there had been times when they hadn't taken tablets or medicine of some kind when they had perhaps needed it.

The overwhelming majority, 67%, answered "yes". Of these respondents, a third, 32%, said that one of the reasons was because they couldn't afford medication at the time, whilst 26% said that they believed they would get better before they got around to buying it and 19% said it was because they couldn't be bothered to venture out to make the purchases whilst unwell.

When asked which type of medication they most regularly spent money on, 24% of respondents said 'paracetamol', followed by cold/flu medicine (21%), ibuprofen (18%), anti-allergy (16%) and antibiotics (13%).  When asked what their most common complaint was when unwell, 'headache' was the most stated answer (76%), although 52%  of these respondents admitted that their headaches were often due to hangovers rather than a genuine medical complaint.

George Charles of www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk said: "It is no secret that we are all experiencing increasingly busier lives, and sometimes finding the time to visit the doctors or take a quick trip to local pharmacy is a lot harder than one might perceive. Having said this, it does seem a rather shocking statistic that each of us will spend almost eight and a half thousand pounds in our lifetimes on being ill.

"I can't help but think that if we all took a little more care to see our doctors or seek pharmaceutical help as soon as a medical problem emerges, we could all end up saving ourselves a huge amount of money in the future."

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George Bailey


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