May 21, 2018

Almost 9-in-10 Australians take medication of some kind

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 7598
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New research shows medication is taken by over 17.8 million, or 88.7%, Australians aged 14+ in an average 12 month period.

Some 9.4 million women, or 92.6% of women, have taken medications in the last year compared to just under 8.4 million men, or 84.8% of men.

The most widely taken type of medications are General medications such as aspirin, Panadol, Voltaren, Nurofen and the like taken by 77.3% of Australians. Allergies/Antihistamine/Cold & flu medications taken by 42.9% of Australians include Sudafed, Benadryl, Claratyne, Telfast and others.

Vitamins/Supplements taken by 42.5% of Australians include Berocca, Blackmores, Swisse and Cenovis while Digestive system medications such as Gaviscon, Quick-Eze, Mylanta, Nexium and the like are taken by 26.4% of Australians.

Women are more likely to take almost all types of medications than men with the exception of Heart & circulation medication taken by 19.6% of men compared to 18.6% of women.

These are some of the highlights from the latest Roy Morgan health and wellbeing data conducted in the 12 months to December 2017.

Type of medications taken for illnesses or conditions

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January – December 2017, n=50,139.

The propensity of women to take more medication than men is supported by the fact women are more likely to report an illness or condition over the last 12 months than men. Over 9.8 million women, or 96.2% of women, reported having an illness or condition in the last year compared to under 9.2 million men, or 92.6% of men.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says 9-in-10 Australians take medication and Australian women are more committed to dealing with health and medical issues than their male counterparts:

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“Nearly 90% of Australians took medication of one sort or another in the last 12 months equivalent to 17.8 million Australians. The most widely used type of medications are General medications such as Panadol and Nurofen and the like taken by over 15.5 million Aussies.

“Other types of medications used widely include Allergies/Antihistamines/Cold & flu medications and Vitamins/Supplements both taken by over two-in-five Australians in the last year. Our research shows medications are taken by around one million more women than men. Over 9.4 million women took medication in the last year compared to fewer than 8.4 million men.

“The Roy Morgan Single Source health and wellbeing data provides a detailed look into the illnesses and conditions Australians are suffering from and what types of medication they take to deal with these medical conditions.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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