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Public take expired medicines, reveals survey     

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Public take expired medicines, reveals survey     

A survey by an online pharmacy has found consumers take out-of-date medicines and use ones that were not prescribed for them.

The poll, which was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Chemist4U, shone a light on the UK public’s habits when it comes to stocking medicines, with 62 per cent saying they check the use-by date before taking them and 36 per cent saying they had taken expired medicines.

Almost a third of the 2,000 people who took part in the survey said they had taken medicines that were not meant for them, with 42 per cent and 33 per cent of those millennials and male respectively. 

Those who were least cautious about the medicines they took included people in HR, architecture, engineering and building and healthcare.

Generation Z, people born between 1997 and 2012, were most likely to borrow a medicine from a friend if they did not have it while those born between 1928 and 1945, the so-called silent generation, were least likely.

Medicines wastage also factored heavily in the study. Forty per cent admitted they threw away unused medication and just 56 per cent were aware of the cost of unused medicines to the NHS.

Forty per cent said they regularly restocked their medicine cabinets, with 25 to 34-year-olds most likely to do so followed by the 35 to 44-year-old age group. The 55s-and-over were least likely to. Seventy per cent said they bought medicine only when they needed it. The survey took place between November 3 and 5 last year.

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