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TGA stakeholder survey 2018

20 December 2018

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TGA Business Services website

TGA Business Services website - Use

A total of 83% of survey participants highlight that they use the TGA Business Services website (Table 40 and Figure 55). Consistent with previous years' insights, around one in four are regular users (once a week or more), 9% report using the site two or three times a month and a further one in four (25%) use the site about once a month. While it is apparent that there has been an increase in the number of people reporting use 'About once a month' between 2017 and 2018 (from 14% to 24%), this rise and the commensurate fall in the number of people reporting the least frequent use category is difficult to interpret due to a change in the scale employed on this question. The 2018 questionnaire employed the scale 'About once a year' where the 2017 and 2016 surveys employed the scale point 'Less than once a month'.

Table 40: TGA Business services website - Frequency of use - 2016-2018 (%)

How often do you visit the TGA Business Services website?
Frequency 2018 2017 2016
Never 17 17 19
About once a year 26 33 32
About once a month 24 14 12
Two or three times a month 9 9 10
About once a week 7 7 6
More than once a week 17 18 19
N 1985 2153 2391

Note: Scale changes in 2018 "About once a year" was previously "Less than once a month". 2016 and 2017 included a "Not sure" option (2% and 3% respectively).

Figure 55: TGA Business services portal - Frequency of use (%)
Pie chart of Table 40 2018 data


Use of the site varies across stakeholder categories (Table 41), with those identifying in the Medical products industry and Government categories most likely to highlight using the Business services website Monthly or more often. Medical products industry stakeholders are also associated with high use rates, with only 12% of this group Never using the site.

Health professionals show the lowest overall level of use of the site, with a notable 12% fall in the overall use amongst this group between 2017 and 2018. This reflects a general trend towards falls in overall use between 2017 and 2018 in most categories outside the largest core group of industry users (Table 41).

Table 41: TGA Business services website - Frequency of use by Industry, Community and Health professional categories (%)

How often do you visit the TGA information website?
Stakeholder category Weekly or more often Any use % change any use (2017)
Medical products industry 30 88 1
Health professional 7 56 -12
Retailer 3 73 -6
Government 17 72 -7
Academic 10 78 4
Other 13 79 -2
Medical products industry
Product sponsor 35 92 -2
Product manufacturer 12 78 -11
Reg affairs cons't 57 96 -1
Ind assoc'n rep 38 100 0
Other 18 80 -11
Health professional
Pharmacist 15 54 -18
Medical practitioner 0 32 -5
Nurse 0 47 -18
Compl healthcare prac 17 58 -17
Dental practitioner 0 63 -12
Other 4 75 -5

Stakeholder cat: Med prod ind: N=1,360; Health pro: N=182; Retailer: N=62; Gov: N=53; Academic: N=63; Media: N=2; Other: N=258. Med prod ind: Sponsor: N=842; Manufacturer: N=360; Reg Affairs Con: N=96; Ind Assoc Rep: N=8; Other: N=50. Health pro: Pharmacist: N=26; Med prac: N=37; Nurse: N=19; Comp health: N=36; Dental: N=8; Other: N=55.

Within the Medical products industry, Regulatory affairs consultants (57% Accessing weekly or more often), Industry association reps (38%) and Product sponsors (35%) show high levels of access. In each of these sub-categories 5% or less highlight that they Never access the Business services site. Product manufacturers show generally lower overall use, with one in five (22%) indicating they Never use the site and just over one in ten accessing it weekly or more often.

Frequency of use, continues to be strongly associated with the number of employees of companies in the Medical products industry (Figure 56). Frequent levels of use are lowest in smaller entities of 1-19 employees (7%) and rise steadily to their highest levels amongst companies with 200-599 (57%; 2017 56%) and 600-699 (55%; 2017 62%) employees. Unlike in 2017, larger organisations with 1000-1499 (38%; 2017 63%) employees showed lower levels of frequent access than some smaller entities.

Figure 56: TGA business services website - Frequent use (Weekly or more) by employee numbers (Medical products industry - %)
Line chart - see Figure 56 in tabular format

1-19: N=529; 20-199: N=383; 200-599: N=200; 600-999: N=47; 1000-1499: N=21; 1500+: N=18.

Figure 56: TGA business services website - Frequent use (Weekly or more) by employee numbers (Medical products industry - %)
Employees Weekly or more often
1-19 7
20-199 37
200-599 57
600-999 55
1000-1499 38
1500+ 39

1-19: N=529; 20-199: N=383; 200-599: N=200; 600-999: N=47; 1000-1499: N=21; 1500+: N=18.

For the small number of participants in Health professionals groups, there are very low levels of regular engagement, with no participants among Medical, Dental and Nurse categories highlighting weekly or more frequent use of the site. Large proportions of all groups in the Health professionals category also report Never using the business services site, including more than two thirds of Medical practitioners, around half of Pharmacists and Nurses and just over four in ten Complementary healthcare practitioners.

Reasons for visiting are highly consistent over time, with the patterns shown in Figure 57 almost identical to that observed in 2017 (In 2017 more people identified 'Register with the TGA' than 'Pay a bill or fee'). Reasons most commonly relate to Lodgement of applications or Checking the progress of applications as well as Varying or modifying an application. Other administrative processes including Paying bills or fees, Registering and Seeking information about fees and charges are also commonly identified as reasons for visiting the site.

Figure 57: TGA business services website - Reasons for visiting (N)
Bar chart - see Figure 57 in tabular format


Figure 57: TGA business services website - Reasons for visiting (N)
Reason N
Lodge an application(s) 1135
Check the progress of an application 1017
Fees and charges information 818
Vary or modify an application 763
Pay a bill or fee 634
Register with the TGA 579
Other, please specify 174


As would be expected, most visitors to the site highlight multiple reasons for visiting (Table 42). Most commonly this involves multiple reasons related to the lodgement, progress and modification of an application.

Table 42: TGA Business services website - Reasons for visiting - number of reasons selected (%)
Number of selections N
1 357
2 280
3 313
4 281
5 237
6 151
7 7
Total responses 1626

Other reasons for accessing the business services website identified in free text responses include a range of issues. These commonly focus on the following broad areas:

  1. Searches.
  2. Access to database and lists.
  3. Administrative functions.
  4. Reporting and notification requirements.
  5. General information.

Specific reasons within these categories include:

  • Access to and searches of:
    • Permissible ingredients database.
    • Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
    • Medicine or complementary medicine information.
    • Device information.
    • Checking details such as manufacturing licenses.
    • Permitted indications.
    • Ingredient search.
    • Indications listings.
    • GMDN code identification.
    • Medicines shortages.
    • Recalls information.
    • Other databases/Information/Codes.
  • Adverse events reporting.
  • Medical device incident reporting and Medical device information.
  • Importation rulings information.
  • Application processes/status checks.
  • Clinical trials notifications.
  • Account administration (e.g. registration, adding users, updating contact details, payments, password resets).
  • Downloading certificates.
  • Employment.
  • Research.
  • Manufacturing information.
  • ACE Scheme.
  • Audit and audit preparation.
  • Pharmacovigilance.
  • Special Access Scheme.

TGA Business Services website - Satisfaction

Ratings of satisfaction with the Business services website highlight 68% of users are either Satisfied (56%) or Very satisfied (12%) with the site (Figure 58). This is slightly higher than the outcome for 2017, with Nett satisfaction at 66% (2016 65%).

Figure 58: TGA business services website - Satisfaction (%)
Bar chart - Business services: 10% Nett dissatisfied, 22% Neither, 68% Nett satisfied


Medical products industry users represent both the largest and most satisfied group of users of the site (71% Nett satisfaction; Table 43). Amongst other groups in the survey there are consistently lower levels of Nett satisfaction and higher levels of dissatisfaction with the site. Health professionals (52% Nett satisfaction), Government (53%), Academic (53%) and Retailer (60%) groups all show relatively low levels of satisfaction. Dissatisfaction for these groups is greater than 10% of users. This may reflect a strong focus on core business experiences for users of the site, with the potential to improve the experience for those who are either not regular users or for whom the use of the site falls outside of the standard business models for which it is designed.

Within the Medical products industry, satisfaction remains generally strong, driven by strong levels of satisfaction and low dissatisfaction within the large group of Product sponsors (73% Nett satisfied; 6% Nett dissatisfied; 2017 74% and 5%; Table 43). Product manufacturer (66% and 10%; 2017 64% and 5%) and Regulatory affairs consultant groups (70% and 13%; 2017 76% and 5%) also show relatively strong outcomes. Despite these continued positive ratings, it is notable that for both the manufacturer and consultant groups the level of satisfaction has fallen slightly and dissatisfaction with the site appears to be growing, with the proportion of respondents showing dissatisfaction doubling or more since 2017 in both groupings. Within the health professional group, satisfaction shows large discrepancies across groups and across years. The small number of respondents within these sub groups makes interpretation unreliable.

Table 43: TGA business services website - Overall satisfaction by stakeholder category, Industry and Health professionals (%)

How satisfied are you with the TGA Business Services website?
Category Nett dissatisfied Neither Nett satisfied % change (2017) Nett Sat N
Medical products industry 8 21 71 2 1190
Health professional 18 30 52 -3 101
Retailer 13 27 60 -11 45
Government 11 37 53 8 38
Academic 29 18 53 2 49
Other 11 23 66 3 203
Medical products industry
Product sponsor 6 20 73 -1 768
Product manufacturer 10 24 66 -8 279
Regulatory affairs consultant 13 17 70 -6 92
Industry association representative 25 13 63 20 8
Other 13 20 68 0 40
Health professional
Pharmacist 14 29 57 -8 14
Medical practitioner 25 58 17 -14 12
Nurse 38 25 38 -26 8
Compl healthcare practitioner 5 24 71 24 21
Dental practitioner 0 20 80 40 5
Other health professional 22 27 51 -10 41

For the business services site, the impact of familiarity with the site upon Nett satisfaction is strong (Figure 59). This effect occurs where use of the site is least frequent, with those in the once a year (58%) and once a month (66%) categories showing lower Nett satisfaction. Beyond this threshold of use, those who access the site more frequently show a consistent level of satisfaction (around 77%).

Figure 59: TGA business services website - Satisfaction by frequency of use (%)
Line chart - see Figure 59 in tabular format

More than once a week: N=331; About once a week: N=132; 2-3 times a week: N=172; About once a month: N=476; About once a year: N=518.

Figure 59: TGA business services website - Satisfaction by frequency of use (%)
Frequency of eBS use Nett satisfied
More than once a week 77
About once a week 77
Two or three times a month 77
About once a month 66
About once a year 58

More than once a week: N=331; About once a week: N=132; 2-3 times a week: N=172; About once a month: N=476; About once a year: N=518.

An opportunity to provide comments and feedback on the Business services website elicited a range of comments. Whilst most comments focussed on suggestions for improvements, it is important to highlight that a minority of comments highlighted that the site generally performs its function and operates to meet the needs of users. Most commonly these users highlight satisfaction with the site and point to the ease of use and ease of navigation as areas of satisfaction. However, even amongst this group it is important to highlight that there are commonly suggestions for improvements identified.

Feedback focussing on issues that could be improved highlights a range of issues that are generally in line with feedback identified across previous years of the survey. This includes a focus upon ensuring that the site is intuitive, performs as expected, provides a logical structure and easy navigation features, as well as general operation and content of the site. Ensuring the site is up to date and provides users with complete and timely information is also important. Where there is dissatisfaction, survey participants also often identified frustrations with updating information, account access issues, logon and password issues, the frequency of password resets, specific navigation issues and a lack of intuitive function.

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