One in seven UK adults spend over £100 on over-the-counter medication every year

The study was conducted by the expert team at digital pharmacy, who asked over 2,200 British adults a series of questions relating to their estimated spend on over-the-counter medications.

The team found that one in seven UK adults spend over £100 per year on over-the-counter medication (14% of respondents). When discussing how much money is spent on medication, the findings also show that:

  • 14% of UK adults spend over £100 per year on over-the-counter medication
  • 22% of UK adults spend between £75 and £99.99 per year on over-the-counter medication
  • 47% of UK adults spend between £50 and £74.99 per year on over-the-counter medication
  • 17% of UK adults spend less than £49.99 per year on over-the-counter medication

Of those who say that they spend over £100 a year on over-the-counter medication, 72% of these are over the age of 65 years old and only 12% are under the age of 25 years old.

When the experts looked into what types of products people were spending most of their money on, they found that the most common products purchased are:

  1.     Painkillers (72% of respondents said that this is the medication they spend the most money on)
  2.     Vitamins, such as vitamin D (23%)
  3.     Skin products, such as eczema creams (18%)
  4.     Sexual health products (11%)
  5. Smoking aids (5%)

Giulia Guerrini, the lead pharmacist from digital pharmacy, commented:

“Although many people get their medication through their GP and prescriptions, therefore not seeing the true cost of the medications they’re taking, many of us also purchase medication over-the-counter – especially if we’re needing help with minor issues such as cold and flu, cough, sore throat etc.. Prescribing medication that can be purchased over the counter costs loads to the NHS, so It’s positive to see that so many people say that they’re spending money on painkillers over the counter, as this means that less people are relying on the NHS to provide painkillers as they can nurse themselves back to health.

“It’s not surprising to see that the majority of those who say that they’re spending over £100 a year are over the age of 65, as many of us tend to suffer more with our health and encounter more issues as we get older. However, there are lots of ways for you to save money on your medication, the first of which is to look at online pharmacies, such as medino. Online pharmacies tend to have more regular discounts and will even offer rewards for loyal customers so that you can get your over the counter products at a cheaper cost. Also, if you’re finding that you’re spending a lot of money on prescription fees, you can purchase a prescription payment certificate from the NHS for either three or 12 months: this will help reduce the amount you’re paying if you find that you’re purchasing more than one prescription a month.

“Many skin products, such as eczema creams, are also no longer prescribed via NHS and they can be quite expensive, especially when bought from high street retailers. Here at medino, we constantly monitor prices of such products and we stock a wide range for both eczema and psoriasis, such as the Cetraben Cream Pump Dispenser which can be dispatched on the day of ordering: you don’t even have to leave your house.”