TGA advises against buying medicines online


Although video misses out on highlighting pharmacists as go-to medicines experts

The government organisation has released a video that warns consumers against purchasing medicines and medical devices online, due to a multitude of risks including lack of quality control and potentially illegal or unsafe ingredients.

It is a light, engaging and easy-to-understand overview of the potential dangers of buying medicines online, says a TGA spokesperson, with the aim of encouraging consumers of medicines to think more deeply about why medicines are regulated and controlled in Australia

Pharmacist Andrew Matthews, from the Society of Hospital Pharmacists, says the video is informative and “innovative” in its modern, cartoon format, but misses the mark by forgetting to include pharmacists as medicines experts.

“From a TGA perspective, which is a relatively conservative organisation, the video is quite innovative,” says Matthews.

“It caught my eye because it has an attractive cartoon style that’s unusual for a government organisation,” he says.

While the video pointed consumers in the direction of GPs for any questions, it would have been better if it also highlighted the expertise of pharmacists, adds Matthews.

“It’s a good video but I thought, gee, it would have been good if they had included pharmacists in it,” he says.

In the webpage of the video there is an accompanying infographic that references to pharmacists along with doctors as front line health professionals, the TGA points out.

The video also mentions medicines should be purchased from a “legitimate Australian pharmacy”.

Watch the video here.

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