UAE residents appear to be some of the world's top consumers of painkillers, a survey by a market research company shows. The research also found that 84 per cent of people here judge themselves to be in excellent or good health, topping the list of countries included in the survey. Most attributed this to a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, even though the UAE has some of the highest rates of obsesity and diabetes in the world.
For the survey, the firm, Synovate, interviewed 12,000 people in 15 nations. It did not say how many people it contacted in the UAE or when the research was conducted. It said UAE residents purchased more pain medications than people in the other countries. Seventy-two per cent of UAE residents bought painkillers in the past six months, it found. Taiwan came bottom, with just 10 per cent. "This means many people [in the UAE] are less aware of what is healthy and unhealthy, so their standards may not be up to the same level as other countries," said Per-Henrik Karlsson, the Dubai-based business development director for Synovate.
He said most UAE residents tended to carry over-the-counter pain medications and take them for "even slight headaches [and] any signs of cold or flu", as well as other minor ailments. The countries surveyed included Australia, Indonesia, France, Spain, Britain, Taiwan, Hungary, Hong Kong and the US. The results also backed up previous evidence that UAE residents favour name brand medications over cheaper generic drugs. Four in five (82 per cent) said they preferred to give their families recognised brands, even though more than half (52 per cent) recognised that generic drugs were just as good.