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Rain is trickling down the window of the upper deck of the bus on a cold winter morning in London. These are the coldest months of the year, the season of runny noses, headaches and sore throats. It’s January, it’s almost freezing and I can’t hear anything other than a symphony of sneezing and coughing.

Interestingly, recent research from Mintel on OTC cold and flu remedies reveals that an increasing number of Brits prefer to delay taking medication, with a quarter of them choosing to suffer in silence until they are really in pain before reaching for the remedy. Furthermore, one in ten do not use any form of medication at all and wait for symptoms to disappear naturally.

Indeed, the percentage of users of cold and flu remedies has declined from 56% in 2006 to 51% in 2010, despite the fact that the number of cold and flu sufferers has actually increased, from 62% in 2006 to 68% in 2010.

This has lead to a slow market performance, with sales of cold and flu remedies growing by a mere 2% over the examined period (2006/2010), from