Seasonal influenza places a heavy demand on healthcare resources and the economy each year, as a direct result of increased primary care consultations, hospitalizations, clinical complications and patient treatment. In addition to direct medical costs, the most significant cost of influenza to society is the indirect cost of lost productivity and absenteeism. In Europe, influenza accounts for approximately 10% of sickness absence from work. Adapting data on health economics to all EU Member States is not easy since local practice patterns in the treatment and management of influenza differ from country to country. Data from individual countries, however, speak volumes. In England and Wales, for example, influenza accounts for over 400,000 general practitioner consultations annually. In England, 11,000 elderly respiratory hospital admissions during epidemics of influenza cost the UK health service over £22 million every winter. It is estimated that in excess of 6 million working days are lost in the UK due to seasonal influenza every year.