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TGA consumer survey 2018

20 December 2018

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Scope of TGA regulation

Survey participants were asked to identify areas that the TGA regulates. Overall, those areas that the TGA regulates were selected more commonly than incorrect selections (Table 21). Most commonly identified correct areas are Any medicines available in a pharmacy (1,153 selections), Medicines prescribed by a doctor (1,106 selections) and Medicines available in supermarkets (916 selections).

Amongst the incorrect selections, Medical procedures (397 selections), Allied health professionals (313 selections) and Health professionals (311 selections) were most commonly misattributed.

Table 21: Scope of TGA regulation

What do you think the TGA regulates?
Response N %
Correct
Medicines prescribed by a doctor 1106 64.0
Advertising of medicines and medical devices 795 46.0
Medicines available in supermarkets 916 53.0
Any medicines available in a pharmacy 1153 66.8
Medical devices, such as bandages and pacemakers 812 47.0
Vaccines 848 49.1
Incorrect
Cosmetics 226 13.1
Foods 209 12.1
Health professionals (e.g. Doctors, Nurses) 311 18.0
Veterinary medicines 274 15.9
Allied health professionals (e.g. Physiotherapists) 313 18.1
Medical procedures (e.g. scans, tests, surgery) 397 23.0
Total Responses 1727

The overall accuracy of individual responses highlights that 6.9% provided a correct response to this question (i.e. all correct selections and no incorrect selections). A total of 358 (20.7%) responses selected all of the correct areas that the TGA regulates, however of these, only 120 (6.9%) did not also select one or more inaccurate areas. Similarly, 822 (47.6%) responses did not select any incorrect responses, yet most failed to select all of the correct responses (Table 22).

Table 22: Scope of TGA regulation – correct and incorrect selections
Selections N %
Correct selections (/6)
No correct selections 170 9.8
1 358 20.7
2 170 9.8
3 171 9.9
4 229 13.3
5 271 15.7
All correct selections 358 20.7
Incorrect selections (/6)
No incorrect selections 822 47.6
1 482 27.9
2 212 12.3
3 105 6.1
4 51 3.0
5 25 1.4
All incorrect selections 30 1.7
Overall accuracy
Accurate responses 120 6.9
Inaccurate responses 1607 93.1

Across the two samples (Panel vs Opt-in) there are considerable variations in terms of understanding of the focus of TGA regulations. Opt-in respondents show a higher level of understanding of the focus of TGA regulation, with 14.4% of this group providing accurate responses. More than half (51.9%) of this group made no incorrect selections (of areas TGA does not regulate) and more than 1 in 3 (36.8%) selected all correct responses (of areas TGA does regulate). A minimal 2.1% of Panel based responses provided accurate responses, with only 10.2% selecting all of the correct responses and 44.8% making no incorrect responses.

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