83% of Consumers Purchase OTC Drugs to Treat Cold and Flu 

Majority of Respondents Take No Preventive Measures

New York, NY (November 17, 2015) – With an unpredictable cold and flu season underway, a recent survey revealed Americans take little to no preventive measures to stay healthy. In 2014, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported elevated levels of flu activity, yet results from Lightspeed All Global’s Patient Pulse Poll indicated only 33% of respondents plan on getting the flu shot this year. The study also revealed a lack of preventive measures, including hand washing or covering mouth when coughing. In addition, only 15% of respondents will stay home when contagious.

Further key survey findings include:2015_FluTreatment_Homeopathy (2)

  • 83% of respondents prefer to treat their cold or flu symptoms with over the counter medications
  • Only 27% of men will try a homeopathic/natural remedy vs. half of women will opt for non-drug relief
  • 39% of respondents prefer a pill or capsule over an inhaler (7%) or nasal spray (18%)

“The results of this survey indicate a decline in popularity for traditional preventative flu medications and vaccinations. This is consistent with recent patient surveys indicating an increase in awareness and usage of homeopathic treatments, which seem to be moving from away from trendy and into the mainstream,” stated David Bilicic, Lightspeed All Global’s Vice President. “It will be interesting to continue to track over time to see if health and wellness focused brands and services adjust their messaging in any way for seasonal illnesses like the flu to better align with the changing perspectives of their target patients.”2015_FluTreatment

Note to editors: Survey conducted October 2015 on Lightspeed All Global’s Patient Pulse Poll; 854 respondents age 18+.

Lightspeed All Global provides healthcare professional and patient community solutions, utilizing a powerful healthcare panel. With a long heritage as an innovator in healthcare research, Lightspeed All Global offers high quality healthcare research services for top global research companies and agencies across Europe, North and South America and Asia-Pacific. Employing a combination of research methodologies – qualitative and quantitative, online and traditional, Lightspeed All Global’s reach expands to more than 450,000 general practitioners and specialists worldwide.

Headquartered in New York and London, Lightspeed All Global is a brand of the Lightspeed Group and part of Kantar, the data investment management arm of WPP, the world leader in marketing communication services. For more information, visit

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