TGA stakeholder survey 2016

16 November 2016

Executive summary

16 November 2016

An online survey was conducted amongst TGA stakeholders in July 2016. The survey provided opportunities for stakeholders to feedback to TGA across a range of service and activity areas.

A total of 2,797 responses to the survey were received during the survey period, representing a response rate of 15%. Respondents represented a broad range of groupings, including strong representation from the medical products industry, community members, health professionals, academics and government stakeholders. Within these groupings, a broad range of participation was identified, including both large and small organisations, consumers, patients, carers, industry association representatives, advocates and sponsors.

Reputation, trust and risk management

A key strength of the TGA to emerge in the findings was the strong levels of trust and reputational outcomes. The organisation is generally well regarded as having strong levels of integrity and ethics, with 85% of participants agreeing that the TGA performs its role ethically and with integrity and 73% highlighting that TGA is well regarded internationally.

Measures focussing on risk were also generally positive with approximately two in three participants agreeing with statements here. However these measures showed some opportunities for further development to ensure that the significant minority of participants who disagreed is minimised.

There are opportunities to further enhance these outcomes through ongoing work with stakeholders, particularly those in the community and retail groupings. Focussing on strengthening and reinforcing communication and feedback channels will assist here.

Confidence in the TGA

The survey highlights a generally strong level of confidence in the TGA amongst participants, particularly in relation to key measures of trustworthiness and providing safeguards for Australians. Across most measures, six times as many responses indicated positive outcomes compared to low levels of confidence.

A clear pattern was evident here across stakeholder groupings, with professionals and those working in the medical products industry showing higher confidence than other stakeholder groups (notably community focussed groupings).

The key opportunity in this area relates to confidence in whether the TGA engages in well thought out decision making. To achieve on this measure requires an ongoing focus on ensuring that decision making follows clear, logical, and valid practices and that these processes are transparent and communicated clearly.

Collaboration, consultation and feedback

While most participants agreed that they are able to provide feedback to TGA, ensuring that the organisation is collaborative, consultative and responsive to feedback are key areas where there is ample opportunity for improvement in the outcomes observed. Across the range of measures relating to collaboration, consultation and feedback, outcomes highlighted generally low levels of agreement (with five of seven measures below 50% agreement) and high levels of disagreement (often at or above 20%). Specific areas for focus include perceptions around the timeliness of consultation, listening to feedback, providing opportunities for input and collaboration.

Communication and information services

The survey highlights a broad range of communication channels are used by stakeholders to communicate with or receive communications from the TGA, however these showed marked variation in uptake. RSS feeds, consultation forecasts, roadshows, email subscription and Twitter are all employed by users. Despite the breadth of methods used by stakeholders, many of these services are never used by the large majority of stakeholders. These outcomes emphasise the dominant, key role that the TGA website and the TGA business services portal play in providing information and a channel for communication with stakeholders and the importance of ensuring these channels meet the needs of as many stakeholders as possible.

Across a range of specific information resources tested in the survey, there was large variation in perceived usefulness. TGA guidelines, updates and safety information were the most positively viewed. Overall, few people highlighted that the range of information resources were not useful at all. Exceptions to this were Medicines shortage alerts, TGA AusPAR, prescription medicine, NCE registrations and Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons. Whilst these areas may offer some opportunities to improve, it is notable that these services also generally showed higher levels of not applicable ratings and marked variations across stakeholder groupings, highlighting the targeted nature of these resources.

The results also highlight the varied needs of specific stakeholder groups in contact with TGA, usefulness varying markedly across categories. This variation highlights the need to clearly define and tailor communications and resources to the specific needs of those who will most need them.

Contact with TGA

In addition to the communication channels used to receive information from TGA, respondents were also asked about their direct contact with TGA. Most commonly, contact was infrequent, with more than half of respondents highlighting contact less than once a month. Contact is most frequently made via email with phone and website channels also common.

Ratings of the outcomes of contact varied across contact methods, with strong satisfaction levels identified for phone and to a lesser extent email contact. The survey highlights a strong association between satisfaction and response time, identifying the need to maintain quick acknowledgement and resolution of enquiries and issues.

Overall satisfaction with communications outcomes showed 63% nett satisfaction and 15% nett dissatisfaction. Satisfaction was strongest amongst government and medical products industry groups and lower amongst health professionals, where complementary healthcare, dental and medical practitioners all showed high levels of dissatisfaction.

TGA website

The TGA website is broadly used, with nine in ten participants in the survey highlighting use. Frequency of use of the site is strongly related to the characteristics of users, with medical products industry and community groups generally showing higher levels of frequent access than healthcare practitioners. Use within the medical products industry is also strongly related to the size of the organisation, with larger organisations generally accessing the site more frequently.

A broad range of reasons for accessing the site were highlighted. The most common reasons included to seek guidance documents, access databases and seek fees and charges information. The breadth of this use is a positive indicator of the ability of users to seek and identify a range of uses and information sources on the site.

Satisfaction with the TGA website was high, with 69% nett satisfaction and minimal (7%) dissatisfaction observed. Notably, dissatisfaction was lowest amongst the medical products industry (7%). Dissatisfaction with the website was highest amongst government (14%), community (12%) and academic stakeholders (12%). Further exploration of the specific needs and information requirements of these groups may be warranted.

TGA business services portal

More than 80% of survey participants reported using the TGA business services website. Use of the site was often infrequent, with only one in four highlighting use of once a week or more. Use of the site also varied markedly across respondent characteristics. Those in the medical products industry, in particular regulatory affairs consultants, product sponsors and industry association representatives showed high, frequent use of the site. Frequent use was also strongly associated with the size of stakeholders’ organisations.

Reasons for access most commonly focussed on application process lodgement or progress checks. Satisfaction with the site was identified amongst two thirds of respondents, with 11% indicating some level of dissatisfaction.

TGA activities and events

Around one in four respondents indicated having attended a TGA event or activity. This included attendance or involvement in information sessions, consultations, roadshows, seminars, conferences and a range of other activities and contacts.

Satisfaction with information sessions was very strong, with high satisfaction observed in relation to the informativeness and quality of the sessions and more than eight in ten highlighting overall satisfaction with the sessions.

Ratings focussing on consultations were markedly lower, however on the whole they remained positive. Despite this, a key opportunity is evident in relation to follow up processes. This outcome highlights the need to ensure that communication relating to consultations is ongoing and includes strong reporting, dissemination, transparency (often in relation to the range of consultation outcomes and inputs) and clarification.

Methodology

16 November 2016

A survey of stakeholders of the TGA was conducted in July 2016. Key stakeholders identified through TGA mailing and client listings were invited to log in to an online survey and provide feedback across a range of service areas.

The survey was developed by the TGA in conjunction with the Market Research Unit. The final methodology for the survey, including the questionnaire, was approved by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Statistical Clearing House.

Key focus areas for the survey were:

  • Reputation and trust in TGA;
  • Risk management;
  • Communications and information;
  • TGA information website;
  • TGA Business services website; and
  • TGA Consultations and events.

The survey was open from 7 July 2016 until 20 July 2016. During the survey period potential participants were invited to participate via an individualised email. To encourage participation, non-respondents were issued with up to three reminder emails throughout the survey period.

A total of 21,296 participants were invited to take the survey. Response rates are outlined in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Response rates

21296 Invites issued, 3105 Invalid or Out of office, 3607 Survey log-ins, 2797 Valid sample, 15%

As outlined above, 3,091 emails were identified as invalid and 14 were identified as out of office for the entire period of the survey. Amongst the valid group of emails in the sample (n=18,191), 3,607 survey log-ins were recorded, with 2,797 providing valid responses to the survey. Based upon the invitation numbers, the final response rate for the survey is 13% (or 15% based upon the known valid sample of 18,191).

Data was downloaded directly from the Qualtrics survey host site in .xls format. Analyses were conducted in Microsoft Excel. Analyses consisted of basic cross tabulations across all question sets and major variables of interest and comparison of results (where available) across previous surveys.

A feature of the survey design was to allow all respondents to opt out of individual questions or progress through the survey without answering all questions. Where possible, questions were not compulsory, allowing for no response to be provided. Whilst minimising survey drop outs, this structure has implications for the data that results from the survey, with varying levels of completion applicable to each question in the survey. Analyses in this report are based upon only those participants who answered each question, excluding those who did not answer.

Results

16 November 2016

Sample profile

There were a total of 2,797 responses to the survey. Participants were asked a range of questions about their organisation, role and industry background. Table 1 shows the roles of respondents. Participation in the survey included representation from across the range of industry and professional roles. As highlighted in Table 2, around one in five respondents to this question highlighted more than one category (average selections 1.2).

Table 1: Respondent roles

Which of the following describe(s) you.
Category n
Medical products industry 1634
Health professional 449
Retailer 169
Academic 146
Community member, consumer or community representative 65
Government 57
Media 7
Other, please specify 409

Table 2: Respondent roles - number of selections

Number of role selections n
1 1939
2 356
3 64
4 17
5 5
Average 1.2

Figure 2: Industry

Bar chart using figures from Table 1

The most commonly identified category was medical products industry (69% of respondents to the question), with health professionals (19%), retailers (7%) and academics (6%) also making up substantial numbers within the sample.

Amongst the more than two thirds (69%) of responses highlighting a role in the medical products industry, the most commonly identified role was that of product sponsor. This group made up the vast majority of respondents in this group, accounting for 73% of those who identified themselves in the medical products industry. Product manufacturers were also commonly identified, representing just under half (47%) of the group, with consultants (17%) and industry association representatives (5%) also strongly represented.

Table 3: Medical products industry - respondent roles

Please select the categories that describe your role in the Medical products industry.
Role n
Product sponsor 1187
Product manufacturer 775
Regulatory affairs consultant 276
Industry association representative 85
Other 64
What type of products do you sponsor/manufacture?
Product type n
Medical devices 1003
Prescription medicines 457
Over the counter medicines 349
Complementary medicines 311
Blood and/or tissue products 82
Other 98
How many employees work for the company in Australia?
Employees n
1-19 703
20-99 359
100-599 306
600-999 54
1000-1499 24
1500+ 30

There was a strong tendency for those in the medical products industry to identify more than one category of response here, with almost one in four responses highlighting more than one category. As would be expected given the dominance of this group, those who identified more than one category were most likely to be product sponsors who were also either product manufacturers or regulatory affairs consultants.

Those working in the medical products industry were spread across a range of organisational sizes (Table 3). Most commonly, respondents identified their organisation as having less than 20 employees (703; 48%). Twenty four percent (359) identified 20-99 employees, 21% (306) 100-599 employees, with minor numbers representing 8% of responses identifying in the largest employee categories (600-999, 54, 4%; 1000-1499 24, 2%; 1500+, 30, 2%).

Table 4: Medical products industry - number of roles

Number of role selections n
1 1015
2 481
3 126
4 8
Average 1.5

Figure 3: Medical products industry - respondent role

Bar chart using figures from Table 3

Figure 4: Medical products industry - number of organisational employees in Australia

Bar chart using figures from Table 3

Product sponsors were also asked to highlight the types of products that they sponsor. Medical devices (n=1003) were the most commonly identified grouping, with prescription medicines (457), over the counter medicines (349) and complementary medicines (311) all commonly identified amongst sponsors. Of the 1,493 responses received here, 455 identified more than one category. Most commonly, this included one or more medicines categories and the medical devices category, which accounted for 274 of the multiple selections identified. A combination of the various medicines categories accounted for a further 100 of the multiple selections identified.

Health professionals most commonly identified themselves in the "Other" category (n=158). A range of other roles were identified including high numbers of people who identified as scientists or researchers, business people, allied health professionals and those working in roles focussing on biology or biomedical engineering, manufacturing, importation or other business focussed areas.

Table 5: Health professionals - main role

Please select the health professional category that best describes you.
Health professional category n
Pharmacist 93
Medical practitioner 73
Complementary healthcare practitioner 64
Nurse 38
Dental practitioner 16
Other health professional 158

Figure 5: Health professionals - respondent role

Bar chart using figures from Table 5

Those who identified as have a role in the community most commonly identified as consumers (n=48), with small numbers identifying as consumer representatives or advocates (19), Patients (18) and carers (13) (Table 6).

Table 6: Community - roles

Please select the categories that describe your role in the community.
Role n
Consumer 48
Consumer health representative or advocate 19
Patient 18
Carer 13
Other 12

Most retailers highlighted that their businesses included a small number of retail outlets, with 75% of the responses recorded highlighting 1-3 retail outlets (Table 7 and Figure 6). A further 12% indicated that they have between 4 and 10 retail outlets. Small numbers of respondents were identified in the remaining categories, however there were 15 respondents who identified that they were associated with large retailers with 100 or more outlets.

Table 7: Retailers - number of outlets

How many retail outlets does the business have?
Outlets n %
1 to 3 123 75%
4 to 10 19 12%
11 to 49 5 3%
50 - 99 2 1%
100+ 15 9%

Figure 6: Retailers - Number of retail outlets

Bar chart using figures from Table 7

Reputation, trust and risk management

16 November 2016

Agreement levels on statements focussing on the reputation and trust associated with the TGA showed generally strong levels of agreement and low disagreement (Table 8). In particular, measures of trust and international regard were strong, with 85% of respondents highlighting agreement in relation to trusting the TGA to perform its role and just under three in four agreeing that the TGA is well regarded internationally. These measures showed very low disagreement, with around one in 20 respondents disagreeing on each of the two measures. The differences in agreement levels across these two measures was characterised by relatively high numbers of respondents who highlighted a Not applicable/Not sure response in relation to the internationally focussed question (9.1%).

Table 8: Community - roles

Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements
Statements Nett Disagree Strongly disagree Disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly agree Nett Agree NA/Not sure n
Australia gets the balance right between the risks associated with therapeutic goods and their benefits 15% 3% 12% 13% 52% 16% 68% 4% 2780
The TGA manages risks proportionately 15% 3% 11% 15% 52% 14% 66% 5% 2771
I trust the TGA to perform its role ethically and with integrity 6% 2% 4% 9% 42% 42.50% 85% 1% 2773
The TGA is well regarded internationally 5% 1% 4% 13% 37% 34% 73% 9% 2773

Around two in three respondents agreed that Australia gets the balance right between the risks and benefits associated with therapeutic goods and that the TGA manages risks appropriately. Despite the strong level of agreement here, around 15% of respondents Disagreed or Strongly disagreed on these statements.

Across the range of measures here, there was a tendency for lower levels of agreement to be observed amongst community member, retailer and (to a lesser extent) government-based respondents. This did not always translate into higher levels of disagreement, with only consumer stakeholders showing a tendency toward higher disagreement levels (Figures 7-10). Within the community member group, those who described themselves as consumer and consumer representatives appeared slightly more likely to provide positive ratings across these categories than those who identified as patients or carers.

There was strong agreement and generally low levels of disagreement across medical product industry, health professional and academic groupings. Media stakeholders also showed strong agreement, however the small number of respondents in this category make these figure unreliable.

There were few differences across groups within the medical products industry category, with similar perceptions of TGA existing amongst sponsors, manufacturers, consultants and industry representatives.

Figure 7: Gets the balance right by stakeholder group

Bar chart - see Figure 7 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 18% 68%
Medical Products Industry 14% 71%
Community, consumer or community rep 23% 58%
Retailer 16% 58%
Government 12% 68%
Academic 13% 67%
Media 17% 67%
Other 16% 65%

Those in the medical products industry, health professionals, academics and government stakeholders were generally more likely than community members and retailers to highlight agreement on whether TGA gets the balance right between the risks and benefits of therapeutic goods. In particular, those identifying as community members, consumers or community representatives were more divided on this issue, with just under one in four disagreeing with the statement. A similar pattern was observed for the statement focussing on proportionate risk management, with the lowest level of agreement and highest level of disagreement observed amongst community members and the strongest levels of agreement amongst those in the medical products industry, health professionals and academics.

Figure 8: Manages risk by stakeholder group

Bar chart - see Figure 8 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 18% 65%
Medical Products Industry 14% 70%
Community, consumer or community rep 23% 54%
Retailer 14% 61%
Government 16% 61%
Academic 15% 67%
Media 0% 80%
Other 14% 63%

Trust in the TGA was strong amongst all groupings in the survey, with more than seven in ten respondents across all of the major industry categories highlighting agreement that they trust the TGA to act ethically and with integrity. Agreement on this statement was particularly strong amongst those in the medical products industry, health professionals, academics and "Other" categories.

Figure 9: Trust in the TGA by stakeholder group

Bar chart - see Figure 9 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 7% 83%
Medical Products Industry 6% 87%
Community, consumer or community rep 12% 71%
Retailer 8% 80%
Government 9% 77%
Academic 6% 83%
Media 0% 100%
Other 6% 83%

Figure 10: International reputation by stakeholder group

Bar chart - see Figure 10 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 7% 71%
Medical Products Industry 7% 77%
Community, consumer or community rep 111% 66%
Retailer 6% 69%
Government 7% 61%
Academic 9% 76%
Media 0% 40%
Other 6% 69%

Confidence in the TGA

16 November 2016

Confidence in the TGA was measured across a range of focus areas. The strongest outcomes here were observed in relation to Trustworthiness and Providing safeguards for the health of Australians, where three in four respondents indicated either high or full confidence in the TGA and minimal numbers (around one in 20) indicated low or no confidence (table 9).

Measures of Technical competence, Fairness, Risk management and Scientifically valid decisions all showed similar levels of confidence, with six in ten or more participants indicating high or full confidence across these measures and 12% or fewer respondents indicating low confidence. Generally, around six times more participants highlighted confidence in the TGA compared to those who felt little confidence.

The measure focussing on well thought out decision making showed lower levels of confidence, with just over half of the sample highlighting high levels of confidence in the TGA here, and 15% showing low or no confidence.

Table 9: Confidence in the TGA

Please indicate your level of confidence in the TGA in the following areas:
Statements Nett Low confidence Not at all confident Low confidence Neither high nor low confidence High confidence Full confidence Nett High confidence Total
Technical competence 12% 2% 10% 28% 51.5% 9% 61% 2666
Well thought out decisions 15% 3% 12% 33% 46% 6% 52% 2662
Providing safeguards for the health of Australians 6% 2% 4% 19% 59% 15% 75% 2661
Fairness 12% 3% 9% 28% 50% 10.1% 60% 2666
Trustworthiness 5% 1% 4% 19% 60% 16% 76% 2661
Risk management 9% 1% 8% 27% 54% 10% 64% 2663
Scientifically valid decisions 11% 3% 9% 27% 51% 10% 61% 2660

As highlighted in the charts below (Figures 11-17), there was a consistent pattern across the range of measures of confidence across the major stakeholder groupings. Generally, health professionals and those in the medical products industry tended to show high levels of confidence in comparison to community members, retailers and government stakeholders.

Patterns in the community stakeholder groupings consistently highlight a tendency for higher levels of confidence amongst those in the consumer health representatives or consumers themselves, whilst those who described themselves as patients or carers tended to have a slightly lower level of confidence.

Amongst those in the medical products industry category, levels of confidence were similar. The exception to this was in relation to regulatory affairs consultants, who were slightly more likely to take a more positive view with higher levels of confidence.

Figure 11: Thought out decisions - Confidence by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 11 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett low Nett high
Health Professional 18.2% 51%
Medical Products Industry 14.1% 55%
Community member, consumer or community representative 23.1% 42%
Retailer 16.9% 42%
Government 22.8% 51%
Academic 20.8% 52%
Media 16.7% 50%
Other 18.4% 46%

Figure 12: Technical competence - Confidence by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 11 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett low Nett high
Health Professional 15.2% 58%
Medical Products Industry 11.1% 64%
Community member, consumer or community representative 12.3% 57%
Retailer 7.2% 57%
Government 15.8% 60%
Academic 20.1% 53%
Media 14.3% 71%
Other 11.2% 57%

Figure 13: Safeguards for the health of Australians - Confidence by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 13 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett low Nett high
Health Professional 7.4% 74%
Medical Products Industry 5.4% 77%
Community member, consumer or community representative 20.0% 58%
Retailer 9.6% 70%
Government 3.5% 70%
Academic 6.9% 78%
Media 0.0% 100%
Other 5.5% 75%

Figure 14: Fairness - Confidence by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 14 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett low Nett high
Health Professional 13.6% 60%
Medical Products Industry 11.6% 62%
Community member, consumer or community representative 23.1% 46%
Retailer 16.9% 55%
Government 3.5% 60%
Academic 11.1% 62%
Media 33.3% 67%
Other 13.9% 56%

Figure 15: Trustworthiness - Confidence by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 15 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett low Nett high
Health Professional 6.3% 74%
Medical Products Industry 5.0% 79%
Community member, consumer or community representative 12.5% 61%
Retailer 7.3% 68%
Government 1.8% 68%
Academic 4.9% 76%
Media 0.0% 80%
Other 6.0% 72%

Figure 16: Risk management - Confidence by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 16 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett low Nett high
Health Professional 12.7% 65%
Medical Products Industry 8.6% 65%
Community member, consumer or community representative 20.0% 52%
Retailer 9.6% 57%
Government 5.3% 58%
Academic 9.0% 66%
Media 16.7% 83%
Other 10.6% 60%

Figure 17: Scientifically valid - Confidence by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 17 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett low Nett high
Health Professional 14.4% 62%
Medical Products Industry 11.2% 61%
Community member, consumer or community representative 21.5% 54%
Retailer 13.9% 54%
Government 5.3% 63%
Academic 13.9% 63%
Media 16.7% 67%
Other 13.2% 58%

Collaboration, consultation and feedback

16 November 2016

Measures of collaboration, consultation and feedback were less positive than other measures in the survey, with most measures showing less than half of the sample agreeing with the range of statements around consultation and feedback, and around one in five disagreeing (Table 10).

The strongest outcome here was in relation to the ability to provide feedback, with 62% agreeing that they are able to do this and 14% disagreeing on this statement.

Key areas where there were lower perceived opportunities to engage with the TGA included in relation to the range of feedback channels available, the timeliness of consultation and perceptions of the collaborative approach of the organisation.

Table 10: Collaboration, consultation and feedback

Please highlight your level of agreement with the following statements:
Statements Nett Disagree Strongly disagree Disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly agree Nett Agree NA/Not sure Total
The TGA consults with me on relevant issues 19% 5% 14% 23% 37% 14% 51% 7.3% 2589
I am able to provide feedback to the TGA 14% 4% 10% 19% 45% 17% 62% 5.0% 2586
The TGA listens to feedback 18% 5% 13% 31% 31% 12% 42% 9.3% 2582
TGA consultation is timely 23% 7% 16% 27% 33% 11% 44% 6.5% 2573
The TGA provides opportunities to provide input into key decisions that impact me 21% 6% 15% 26% 34% 12% 46% 7.0% 2579
The TGA provides a range of feedback channels 18% 4% 14% 30% 34% 9% 43% 8.7% 2582
The TGA is collaborative 20% 6% 14% 29% 34% 12% 46% 5.8% 2574

Patterns across the key stakeholder groups highlighted some variation across the individual questions in this set (Figures 18-24). Generally those in the medical products industry tended to show slightly higher agreement and slightly lower disagreement across most statements tested. This was the case across most measures except for the statement I am able to provide feedback to the TGA, where agreement was fairly consistent across groups and highest amongst government stakeholders.

Within the medical products industry, there was a tendency to show higher agreement across key measures by those who identified in Industry association and regulatory affairs consultant roles. Members of these groups were generally more likely to agree that the TGA consults with me, listens to feedback, provides opportunities for input and provides a range of feedback channels. Whilst not always the case, these groups also tended to show lower levels of disagreement on these measures.

Figure 18: TGA consults me on relevant issues by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 18 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 23.9% 46%
Medical Products Industry 18.0% 55%
Community member, consumer or community representative 32.8% 42%
Retailer 24.0% 40%
Government 28.1% 46%
Academic 22.2% 42%
Media 14.3% 86%
Other 21.8% 45%

For the statement focussing on consultation on relevant issues, those in the medical products industry tended to show higher agreement, than other groups, all of whom (except the small number of media stakeholders) showed less than 50% agreement on this statement. Of particular note here is the high level of disagreement amongst community and government stakeholders.

Figure 19: I am able to provide feedback to the TGA by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 19 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 15.0% 61%
Medical Products Industry 13.5% 64%
Community member, consumer or community representative 20.3% 64%
Retailer 18.0% 54%
Government 8.8% 70%
Academic 16.7% 63%
Media 0.0% 100%
Other 14.9% 62%

There was generally low agreement across all groups that the TGA listens to feedback. Outcomes here were particularly low amongst those in the retailer and community categories, with low of just over one third agreement and around one in four participants disagreeing with the statements.

Figure 20: TGA listens to feedback by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 20 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 18.6% 39%
Medical Products Industry 17.9% 45%
Community member, consumer or community representative 25.0% 36%
Retailer 23.4% 34%
Government 17.9% 34%
Academic 16.1% 37%
Media 16.7% 67%
Other 19.4% 45%

Figure 21: TGA consultation is timely by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 21 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 23.1% 41%
Medical Products Industry 22.8% 46%
Community member, consumer or community representative 28.6% 46%
Retailer 24.0% 41%
Government 29.8% 35%
Academic 26.6% 41%
Media 20.0% 60%
Other 21.7% 42%

There was some variation across groups in relation to agreement that The TGA provides opportunities to input into key decisions that impact me. Those in the medical products industry appeared most likely to agree here, whilst community members, retailers and academics all showed lower agreement. Of particular note here is the outcome amongst community members, where those who disagreed with the statement outweighed those who agreed. This outcome was driven by strong levels of disagreement amongst patient and carer groups. This pattern in the community stakeholders group was similar across the range of questions here, with patients and carers exhibiting a high level of perceived separation from feedback and consultation processes compared to other groups such as consumers and consumer health representatives.

Figure 22: TGA provide opportunities to provide input into key decisions that impact me by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 22 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 25.2% 46%
Medical Products Industry 19.6% 50%
Community member, consumer or community representative 40.6% 36%
Retailer 25.9% 34%
Government 28.1% 44%
Academic 24.8% 41%
Media 0.0% 83%
Other 24.3% 41%

Figure 23: TGA provides a range of feedback channels by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 23 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 19.9% 39%
Medical Products Industry 18.0% 46%
Community member, consumer or community representative 29.7% 41%
Retailer 22.2% 40%
Government 17.5% 42%
Academic 23.6% 38%
Media 20.0% 60%
Other 19.7% 4%

There was generally low agreement across all groups in relation to the statement focussing on the range of feedback channels available. This is consistent with the low usage of the range of TGA contact channels identified later in the report (see communication and information services). Further promotion and awareness raising of the range of contact channels may assist to address this perception.

Less the half of respondents across all major stakeholder groups felt that the TGA is collaborative. In particular, community members and government stakeholders appears to show lower agreement on this measure.

Figure 24: TGA is collaborative by Stakeholder category

Bar chart - see Figure 24 in tabular format
Stakeholder group Nett disagree Nett agree
Health Professional 24.2% 44%
Medical Products Industry 19.5% 49%
Community member, consumer or community representative 37.5% 34%
Retailer 22.9% 38%
Government 28.1% 39%
Academic 22.9% 41%
Media 0.0% 67%
Other 22.6% 41%

Communications, information and contact with the TGA

16 November 2016

Communication and information services - Use

Use of communication and information services was strongly focussed on the TGA Website, eBusiness services portal and subscription information services (Table 11 and Figure 25). The TGA website is the most commonly and consistently used contact channel with the TGA and in this context represents a key communication and engagement resource across all stakeholder groups. More than 95% of respondents highlighted some use of the website, with just under, one in four highlighting use more than once a week. Similarly, the eBusiness services portal is accessed by more than 85% of the responding sample. There was high usage amongst all groups, although this was somewhat lower amongst those who self-identified within community groups.

Email subscription services were used regularly amongst the respondent group, with just under two thirds of participants highlighting some use of this service and around one in five highlighting weekly or more frequent contact via this channel.

Table 11: Information service - Frequency of use

Please indicate how much you use the following TGA services:
Statements Never Less than once a month About once a month Two or three times a month About once a week More than once a week Not sure Total
TGA RSS feed 72% 12% 4% 2% 2% 2% 6% 2541
TGA Consultation Forecast 57% 21% 7.80% 3.80% 2.40% 1% 8% 2543
TGA roadshows 65% 26% 2% 0.5% 0.4% 0.2% 6% 2545
TGA eBusiness services portal 12% 31% 13% 12% 8% 22% 2% 2554
TGA website 3% 28% 18% 14% 11% 24% 1% 2561
Email subscription information services 30% 24% 12% 7% 10% 10% 6% 2546
TGA Twitter 87% 7% 1% 0.7% 0.4% 0.2% 3.5% 2545
TGA information sessions 47% 39% 5% 1% 0.7% 0.8% 7% 2547
TGA conference booth 70% 21% 2% 0.2% 0.3% 0.4% 7% 2545

Despite being substantially lower than the core online channels, roadshows, information session and conference booth events were all highlighted by significant numbers of survey participants as methods of contact that they have used. Given the relatively low frequency of these events as well as the strong potential face-to-face engagement of said formats, these outcomes highlight a strong TGA presence and relatively strong interest amongst the sampled stakeholders in participation and engagement with TGA.

RSS feeds and Twitter were not frequently accessed or used by respondents, with just over one in five highlighting any use of the RSS feed and less than one in ten using TGA Twitter.

Figure 25: Information service - Frequency of use

Bar chart of Table 11

As highlighted in table 12, there was strong engagement with key communication channels across the range of major stakeholder groupings identified in the survey.

Table 12: Service use by Stakeholder category

Please indicate how much you use the following TGA services: (% any use)
Service Health pro Med Prod Ind Comm'ty Retailer Gov Academic Media Other
RSS feed 22% 22% 31% 22% 12% 15% 17% 19%
Consult'n Forecast 36% 38% 42% 39% 28% 31% 40% 30%
Roadshows 28% 33% 41% 24% 39% 20% 33% 29%
eBusiness portal 82% 89% 78% 84% 86% 81% 100% 81%
Website 96% 97% 95% 90% 93% 96% 100% 94%
Email subscription 66% 67% 65% 67% 58% 57% 83% 58%
Twitter 12% 9% 17% 12% 9% 12% 17% 7%
Info sessions 48% 50% 50% 36% 47% 42% 83% 46%
Conference booth 22% 26% 33% 20% 26% 18% 20% 22%

Within the medical products industry, engagement with the various methods of communication tended to be lower amongst sponsors and manufacturers. There were no clear patterns across community groupings.

Amongst health professionals there were some clear patterns emerging, with nurses and pharmacists showing a high likelihood of use of both the website and ebusiness portal. Pharmacists were generally strongly engaged across a range of measures, including consultations and roadshows and conference events. Complementary healthcare professionals, while less likely to use the website, were strongly engaged with consultation processes, tended to use the RSS feed more commonly and showed high use of the business portal.

Usefulness of information

There was large variation in the perceived usefulness of information services provided by the TGA. The information services that were most positively viewed were TGA guidelines (73%) nett Very or Extremely Useful, TGA updates (58%), TGA safety information (53%) and TGA eBS Notices (52%). The remaining information services showed nett Very or Extremely Useful outcomes of less than 50%, ranging from 22% for medicines shortages alerts to 46% for TGA consultations (Table 13). It was also common for respondents to rate the services as moderately useful, with between 14% and 28% selecting this option.

Despite the observed variation, it was generally the case that very few people highlighted that the range of information resources were not useful at all. Exceptions to this were medicines shortage alerts, where 29% felt the service was slightly or not at all useful, TGA AusPAR (24%), prescription medicine NCE registrations (27%) and scheduling of medicines and poisons (22%). It is worth noting that these services also generally showed higher levels of not applicable ratings, highlighting the targeted nature of these resources for specific groupings in the TGA stakeholder community.

Table 13: Usefulness of information services

Please indicate how useful the following information services are for you in your role:
Statements Nett Slightly useful Not at all useful Slightly useful Moderately useful Very useful Extremely useful Nett Very useful N/A Total
TGA Update 13% 2% 11% 26% 36% 22% 58% 3% 1610
TGA Safety information 15% 3% 12% 28% 35% 18% 53% 4% 1605
TGA Consultations 18% 6% 13% 25% 29% 17% 46% 10% 1567
TGA AusPAR 24% 12% 12% 20% 14% 10% 24% 31% 1559
TGA Guidelines 8% 2% 6% 17% 34% 38% 72% 3% 1575
TGA eBS Notices 15% 4% 11% 25% 31% 21% 52% 9% 1571
Medicines Safety Update 19% 9% 10% 21% 25% 13% 38% 22% 1567
Medical Devices Safety Update 19% 7% 12% 22% 26% 18% 44% 15% 1576
Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons 22% 10% 12% 20% 21% 14.2% 35% 23% 1328
Medicines Shortages Alerts 29% 16% 13% 17% 14% 8% 22% 32% 1607
Prescription medicine NCE registrations 27% 15% 12% 14% 14% 9% 24% 36% 985

As is evident in Tables 14-16, there was some variation in the usefulness of various information across different stakeholder groupings. Retailers and academics appeared less likely to find TGA updates useful. Health professionals and academics were more likely to find TGA safety information services useful, while retailers were more likely to find this service slightly or not at all useful. TGA consultations were slightly more favoured amongst medical products industry (49%) and community (46%) participants, although these outcomes were not substantially above the overall average. AUSpar showed generally low usefulness amongst retailers (11%) and government (6%) stakeholders. Medical devices safety updates were strongly valued by government and academics, with academics also highlighting high usefulness for TGA guidelines. Health professionals showed strong usefulness on the more specific measures such as scheduling (47%), medicines shortages (31%) and NCE registrations (28%).

Table 14: Usefulness of information services by stakeholder category - Part A

Please indicate how useful the following information services are for you in your role:
Category TGA Update TGA Safety information TGA Consultations TGA AusPAR
Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful
Total 14% 58% 15% 53% 18% 46% 24% 24%
Health Professional 15% 54% 13% 58% 22% 40% 23% 23%
Medical Products Industry 11% 61% 14% 54% 17% 49% 24% 27%
Community 22% 51% 18% 53% 27% 46% 27% 29%
Retailer 26% 46% 23% 52% 30% 39% 26% 11%
Government 21% 55% 21% 52% 19% 34% 34% 6%
Academic 15% 49% 15% 60% 27% 36% 26% 20%
Media 20% 60% 0% 25% 20% 60% 67% 33%
Other 19% 56% 17% 50% 18% 42% 27% 20%

Table 15: Usefulness of information services by stakeholder category - Part B

Please indicate how useful the following information services are for you in your role:
Category Medicines Safety Update Medical Devices Safety Update TGA Guidelines TGA eBS Notices
Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful
Total 19% 38% 19% 44% 8% 73% 15% 52%
Health Professional 13% 54% 18% 46% 9% 69% 15% 49%
Medical Products Industry 19% 38% 19% 46% 6% 75% 12% 55%
Community 12% 50% 20% 37% 17% 68% 22% 49%
Retailer 24% 31% 17% 46% 14% 57% 20% 42%
Government 13% 29% 13% 50% 12% 72% 13% 48%
Academic 16% 49% 16% 57% 9% 81% 17% 42%
Media 0% 20% 0% 40% 0% 80% 20% 60%
Other 22% 33% 22% 37% 10% 69% 17% 48%

Table 16: Usefulness of information services by stakeholder category - Part C

Please indicate how useful the following information services are for you in your role:
Category Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons Medicines Shortages Alerts Prescription medicine NCE registrations
Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful Nett Slightly useful Nett very useful
Total 22% 35% 29% 22% 27% 24%
Health Professional 17% 47% 24% 31% 23% 28%
Medical Products Industry 22% 35% 30% 22% 26% 24%
Community 20% 49% 27% 23% 27% 29%
Retailer 27% 36% 33% 24% 33% 24%
Government 25% 18% 25% 13% 34% 13%
Academic 18% 49% 25% 31% 25% 30%
Media 25% 25% 0% 20% 20% 20%
Other 22% 39% 32% 17% 29% 18%

As outlined in the tables 14‒16, those in the community category were generally in line with the overall average on measures of usefulness. The most notable exceptions here were in relation to medicines safety information (50%) and scheduling of medicines and poisons (49%), where this group showed a high level of very or extremely useful ratings. In the community category there was minimal variation across sub groups, although the consumer representative participants did appear to find most information sources slightly more useful than other groups.

In the health professionals grouping, there were observable differences across professional categories. Medical and dental practitioners showed generally lower engagement with the more general communication channels (e.g. TGA updates, consultations and safety information). In contrast, dental practitioners were strongly engaged with medical practitioners and nurses strongly engaged with medicines shortage alerts. Nurses also showed high usefulness outcomes on NCE registrations and medical device safety updates. Complementary medicine practitioners generally found the range of general information sources useful, were strongly engaged with medicines alerts and scheduling and were less engaged with devices focussed information. Pharmacists more commonly than most groups found medicines safety updates and scheduling information highly useful. This group, along with nurses, also showed very high usefulness outcomes for TGA guidelines, indicating a strong reliance on this information in their work.

In the medical products industry grouping, regulatory affairs consultants showed strong perceptions of usefulness across a broad range of measures, highlighting this group as a key user of a broad range of information channels. This included higher ratings in comparison to other stakeholders in the medical products industry in relation to updates, safety information, AusPAR, TGA guidelines, EBS notices, scheduling of medicines and NCE registrations. Industry association representatives showed strong usefulness ratings across measures of consultation and TGA updates.

Frequency of contact

Amongst participants who highlighted their level of contact with TGA, just over half highlighted that their contact is limited to less frequently than once a month (and another 4.5% highlighted that they Never have contact with TGA). The remaining group (42%) are in regular contact (monthly or more frequently) with the TGA, with around 9% being in contact more than once a week.

Table 17: Frequency of contact with the TGA

How often do you have contact with the TGA?
Statements Never Less than once a month About once a month Two or three times a month About once a week More than once a week Total
How often do you have contact with the TGA? 5% 51% 17% 12% 6% 9% 2429

Figure 26: Frequency of contact with TGA

Bar chart of Table 17

Retailers, academics and media are in contact less often than other groups, with two thirds or more of these groups highlighting either no contact or contact less than once a month. All other stakeholder groups showed a generally similar level of contact, although there was some tendency for those in the medical products industry and community categories to report high levels of very frequent contact (more than once a week, both 11%; Table 18 and Figure 27).

Table 18: Frequency of contact by stakeholder category

How often do you have contact with the TGA?
Category Never Less than once a month About once a month Two or three times a month About once a week More than once a week n
Health Professional 4% 53% 20% 12% 4% 7% 438
Medical Products Industry 4% 47% 18% 13% 7% 11% 1571
Community member, consumer or comm rep 6% 47% 9% 20% 6% 11% 64
Retailer 9% 71% 11% 7% 0% 2% 161
Government 2% 46% 29% 20% 2% 2% 56
Academic 6% 60% 15% 11% 3% 6% 142
Media 0% 67% 0% 0% 0% 33% 6
Other 5% 49% 18% 14% 6% 9% 387

Medical products industry participants showed some variation across sub groups, with particularly frequent contact reported amongst regulatory affairs consultants (70% monthly or more frequently) and industry association representatives (66%).

The health professionals contact levels are largely driven by high levels of frequent contact amongst pharmacists (65% monthly or more often). This is contrasted by low levels of contact amongst medical practitioners (23%), nurses (32%) and dental practitioners (35%).

In the community group, the carers were in contact less frequently than other groups.

Reasons for contact

The most common reasons for contact were to lodge an application and to check the progress of an application with the TGA (Table 19 and Figure 28). These contact reasons were less common amongst community members than other groups. Seeking information about products, information about manufacturing and importing/exporting focussed issues were also commonly identified amongst the range of stakeholders responding to the survey.

Figure 27: Frequency of contact - Monthly or more often - with TGA by Stakeholder category

Bar chart of Table 18

Table 19: Reasons for contact

For which of the following do you contact the TGA?
Contact type n
Lodging an application with the TGA 1618
Progress of an application with the TGA 1356
Information on specific product(s) 740
Information about manufacturing products 696
Importing/exporting products 681
In response to TGA consultation activities 635
Reporting, or enquiring about, a problem with a medical device or medicine, including medicine shortages 542
Product recall(s) 419
Other, please specify 284
Feedback on TGA service delivery 248
Not applicable - I don't contact the TGA* 73

*Note: A further 110 respondents highlighted at Q7 that they Never have contact with the TGA. This group was not presented with Q8 in the survey.

Responses identifying more specific issues, such as product recalls and problems with a device, medicine or medicine shortage while less commonly identified by participants, still represented significant contact points. Other contacts, highlighted by 248 participants, included a broad range of contact focus areas. Commonly this included contact relating to fees and costs, audit and inspection activities, clinical trial notifications , clarifications and advice, advertising, eBS queries and assistance, guidance clarification and general advice, Special Access Scheme and other administrative contacts (such as password resets).

Figure 28: Reasons for contact

Bar chart of Table 19

Respondents commonly highlighted a range of reasons for making contact, with an average of 3.2 reasons identified per respondent. Most often, respondents highlighted two or three reasons (Table 20).

Table 20: Reasons for contact - number of reasons

Number of selections n
1 402
2 500
3 475
4 366
5 228
6 130
7 64
8 36
9 28
10 2
Average 3.2

Contact channels

The most common contact channel was via email, followed by phone (Table 21 and Figure 29). Along with the website, these channels represent the key methods of contact that will be utilised by those wishing to make contact with TGA. This pattern was similar across all groups and sub-groups in the survey.

Despite their relatively small usage, letter and fax contact methods are still utilised by a small proportion of people and will continue to need some monitoring and resourcing. These methods were most commonly used by those in the medical products industry and health professionals, with very few community members or other stakeholders making contact in this way.

Table 21: Contact channel and number of channels

Contact channel n
Email 2001
Telephone 1634
Website 819
Letter 284
Fax 48
Other 50
Number of channels identified n
1 485
2 1012
3 592
4 114
5 19
Average 2.2

Figure 29: Contact channel

Bar chart of Table 21 contact channel

Response times

Respondents who highlighted use of the individual contact channels identified in the survey were asked to highlight how long it generally takes to receive a response (Table 22 and Figure 30). The contact method with the fastest average resolution time was via the phone, with just under three in ten highlighting immediate response and 83% experiencing a response in two days or less. Website contacts also showed strong response levels, with just ten percent achieving an immediate response and 58% receiving a response in two days or less. Similarly, whilst showing a lower level of immediate response, email response times were relatively strong, with 55% response levels within two days. Further progress in this area can be achieved by shifting the significant numbers of response times relating to email and website contacts in the three to ten day response period.

Letter and fax response times were slower, however it is important to highlight here that the method of contact will often have a significant impact on the expectation of responsiveness and the speed of response (e.g. most obviously in the case of a written letter, an immediate response would not generally be expected).

Response time patterns were generally similar across the range of stakeholder groups within the survey.

Table 22: Response times by contact category

Generally, how long does it take the TGA to respond to your enquiry:
Statements Immed'ly <1 day 1-2 days 3-10 days 11-20 days >20 days Total
Phone enquiries 29% 27% 28% 13% 1% 2% 1578
Email 1% 15% 39% 35% 6% 5% 1946
Letter 0.7% 0.7% 5% 44% 28% 22% 269
Fax 2% 7% 22% 44% 13% 11% 45
Contact via the website 10% 15% 33% 33% 4% 6% 761
Other enquiry method 16% 13% 12% 22% 16% 22% 32

Figure 30: Response times by contact category

Bar chart of Table 22

Satisfaction with response

Satisfaction with responses was highest for phone enquiries (nett satisfied 70%), which offer the highest level of personal contact and ability to gain an in depth understanding of the issues and appropriate response (Table 23 and Figure 31). To ensure this method remains a strong performance area, attention should be paid to ensuring that call answer times are minimised, logical and efficient call architecture is established and limited call forwarding is experienced by users. Email, fax and website contact methods all showed similar patterns, with between 62% and 66% nett satisfaction. Contact via letter showed slightly lower nett satisfaction (56%) and higher dissatisfaction (17%).

Amongst the various stakeholder groupings the patterns of satisfaction levels for the various contact methods were, in most instances, similar. It is worth noting that for those contacting TGA via letter, there was some variation, with retailers, health professionals and academics showing lower levels of satisfaction here.

Table 23: Response satisfaction

Generally, how satisfied are you with the TGA response to your enquiry:
Contact method Nett Dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Satisfied Very satisfied Nett Satisfied Total
Phone enquiries 13% 4% 9% 17% 52% 19% 70% 1601
Email 15% 5% 10% 20% 51% 15% 66% 1961
Letter 17% 4% 13% 27% 45% 11% 56% 271
Fax 11% 9% 2% 27% 49% 13% 62% 45
Via website 11% 4% 7% 26% 51% 12% 63% 781
Other method 11% 6% 6% 22% 47% 19% 67% 36

Figure 31: Nett satisfied by contact type by stakeholder category

Bar chart showing nett satisfied by contact type by stakeholder group

The strongest indicator of satisfaction with contact experiences identified in the survey was response time (Figure 32). Where response times were greater, there was a marked tendency for lower satisfaction and higher dissatisfaction to be expressed. This highlights the importance of prompt service outcomes in stakeholder relationships. A focus on encouraging and facilitating contact methods that facilitate faster turnaround (such as email and website contact) is warranted.

Figure 32: Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction with contact (all contact methods) vs Response time

Line graph of Table 23 nett dissatisified and nett satisfied

Communications - Overall satisfaction

Overall nett satisfaction with the experience of communicating with the TGA was observed at 63%, with just under 15% highlighting some level of dissatisfaction (Table 24).

Table 24: Communication- Overall satisfaction

Overall, how satisfied are you with the experience of COMMUNICATING with the TGA?
Statements Nett Dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Satisfied Very satisfied Nett Satisfied Total
Communication 15% 5% 10% 22% 50% 13% 63% 2187

Amongst the various stakeholder groups, media (67%), government (67%) and medical products industry respondents were the most likely to express satisfaction (Table 25). Community members (59%), retailers (58%), health professionals (57%) and academics (54%) showed slightly lower satisfaction, with these groups also showing trends toward higher levels of dissatisfaction.

Table 25: Communication - Overall satisfaction by stakeholder category

Overall, how satisfied are you with the experience of COMMUNICATING with the TGA?
Category Nett Dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Satisfied Very satisfied Nett Satisfied n
Health Professional 18% 5% 13% 25% 43% 13% 57% 403
Medical Products Industry 15% 5% 10% 21% 51% 13% 64% 1463
Community member, consumer or community representative 22% 10% 12% 19% 46% 14% 59% 59
Retailer 17% 8% 10% 25% 47% 11% 58% 144
Government 13% 4% 9% 20% 46% 20% 67% 54
Academic 18% 2% 16% 27% 40% 15% 54% 131
Media 33% 17% 17% 0% 50% 17% 67% 6
Other 14% 4% 10% 24% 48% 14% 62% 350

In the health professional grouping there was marked variation across professional categories in terms of both satisfaction and dissatisfaction levels. Nurses (nett dissatisfaction 14%) and pharmacists (9%) showed generally low dissatisfaction levels, while complementary healthcare professionals (29%), dental practitioners (27%) and medical practitioners (22%) showed high levels of dissatisfaction.

Similar levels of satisfaction were observed across all groups in the medical products industry category with the exception of the “Other” grouping, where there was a much lower level of nett satisfaction (46%), and higher neither (31%) and nett dissatisfaction (23%) levels. Within the community grouping, lower levels of satisfaction and higher dissatisfaction were observed amongst patients (59% nett satisfaction and 22% nett dissatisfaction), consumers (57% and 18%) and carers (58% and 17%), although it is worth noting that these levels of nett dissatisfaction are in line with the overall outcome across the total sample.

Table 26: Communication - Overall satisfaction by Industry, Community and Health professional categories

Overall, how satisfied are you with the experience of COMMUNICATING with the TGA?
Category Nett Dissatisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Nett Satisfied
Medical products industry
Product sponsor 16% 20% 64%
Product manufacturer 13% 21% 65%
Regulatory affairs consultant 14% 19% 67%
Industry association representative 13% 21% 66%
Other 23% 31% 46%
Community
Consumer 18% 25% 57%
Consumer health representative or advocate 15% 21% 64%
Patient 22% 19% 59%
Carer 17% 25% 58%
Other 13% 20% 67%
Health professional
Complementary healthcare practitioner 29% 18% 53%
Dental practitioner 27% 13% 60%
Medical practitioner 22% 25% 53%
Nurse 14% 17% 69%
Pharmacist 9% 34% 57%
Other 17% 26% 57%

TGA information website

16 November 2016

Website use

Nine in ten respondents in the survey used the TGA website. Most commonly this use was infrequent, occurring either less than once a month (35%) or about once a month (19%; Table 27 and Figure 33). Around one in four respondents visit the site on a regular basis (weekly or more often). The pattern here highlights the various levels of familiarity that TGA stakeholders will have with the site, highlighting the importance of ensuring the site is logical, navigable and user friendly, especially for the large groups who are unlikely to have the familiarity that develops with frequent use.

Table 27: TGA website - Frequency of use

How often do you use the TGA information website?
Frequency %
Never 8%
Less than once a month 35%
About once a month 19%
Two or three times a month 10%
About once a week 9%
More than once a week 18%
Not sure 2%

n= 2424

Figure 33: TGA website - Frequency of use

Bar chart of Table 27

Overall (ever) use of the website was similar across all groupings in the survey (Table 28). Regular use was highest amongst those in the medical products industry and community groupings, with retailers and academics using the site less frequently.

Table 28: TGA website - Frequency of use by stakeholder category

How often do you use the TGA information website?
Category Never Less than once a month About once a month Two or three times a month About once a week More than once a week Not sure n
Health Professional 9% 37% 21% 9% 6% 15% 2% 446
Medical Products Industry 6% 32% 18% 11% 10% 22% 1% 1621
Community 8% 35% 22% 8% 5% 22% 2% 65
Retailer 11% 50% 19% 8% 4% 6% 3% 169
Government 5% 28% 33% 12% 9% 9% 4% 57
Academic 10% 50% 21% 10% 2% 7% 0% 145
Media 0% 14% 14% 29% 14% 14% 14% 7
Other 12% 32% 21% 9% 8% 15% 2% 403

In the medical products industry, the most frequent use was strongly moderated by the size of the organisation (as indicated by the number of employees; Figure 34). Use weekly or more often was highest amongst those with employees, 100-599 (53%), 600-999 (53%) and 1,000-1,499 (63%) employees.

Figure 34: TGA information website - Frequent use (Weekly or more) by employee numbers (Medical products industry)

Line graph - see Figure 34 in tabular format
Number of employees Percentage
1-19 14%
20-99 38%
100-599 53%
600-999 53%
1000-1499 63%
1500+ 33%

In each of the major stakeholder groupings, there was some variation in the frequency of website use amongst particular groups (Table 29). Notably, one in four or more of pharmacists, medical practitioners, carers and consumers all accessed the site weekly or more often.

Table 29: TGA website - Frequency of use by Industry, Community and Health professional categories

How often do you use the TGA information website?
Category Website use - Weekly or more often
Medical products industry
Product sponsor 20%
Product manufacturer 21%
Regulatory affairs consultant 19%
Industry association representative 21%
Other 31%
Community
Consumer 25%
Consumer health representative or advocate 21%
Patient 19%
Carer 25%
Other 20%
Health professional
Complementary healthcare practitioner 18%
Dental practitioner 13%
Medical practitioner 25%
Nurse 17%
Pharmacist 34%
Other 26%

Participants highlighted a range of reasons for use of the website (Table 30). The most common reasons included to seek guidance documents, access databases and seek fees and charges information, however it is notable that the range of reasons presented to users of the site all featured as common activities for which the website is used. The breadth of this use is a positive indicator of the ability of users to seek and identify a range of uses and information sources on the site.

Table 30: TGA website - reasons for use

Please select the reasons you visit the TGA information website
Reason n
Guidance documents 1624
Accessing TGA databases 1385
Fees and charges information 1238
General information about the TGA 898
Regulatory decisions and notices 886
Accessing information about the scheduling of medicines and poisons 715
Importing or exporting products information 696
News and publications 676
Education materials 590
TGA training, workshops or presentations information 590
Safety information 481
Accessing information for health professionals 434
Product recalls 383
Consultations - access or participate 362
Report problems or adverse events 346
Provide feedback to the TGA 146
Other, please specify 70

Average = 5.3 selections per user

Website satisfaction

Satisfaction with the website was strong, with 69% either satisfied or very satisfied and a minimal 7% of people showing any level of dissatisfaction (Table 31).

Table 31: TGA website - Overall satisfaction

How satisfied are you with the TGA information website?
Statement Nett Dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Satisfied Very satisfied Nett Satisfied Total
Website satisfaction 7% 1% 6% 24% 62% 7% 69% 2165

Among broad stakeholder categories, nett satisfaction varied from 72% amongst those in the medical products industry down to 60% for government stakeholders (Table 32). Dissatisfaction was also very low amongst the medical products industry. This key group is the largest sub group in the survey, with the positive outcomes here highlighting that the website is generally meeting the needs of this core target. Dissatisfaction with the website was highest amongst government (14%), community (12%) and academic stakeholders (12%).

Table 32: TGA website - Overall satisfaction by stakeholder category

How satisfied are you with the TGA information website?
Category Nett Dissatisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Nett Satisfied n
Health Professional 10% 24% 66% 393
Medical Products Industry 7% 22% 72% 1488
Community member, consumer or community representative 12% 20% 68% 59
Retailer 10% 26% 64% 145
Government 14% 27% 60% 52
Academic 12% 18% 70% 131
Media 0% 33% 67% 6
Other 9% 27% 64% 344

Further breakdowns in industry, community and health professional groups are shown in the table 33. Key points in this table include the consistently high satisfaction across the medical products industry, relatively high satisfaction amongst consumer health representatives or advocates and the low satisfaction and high dissatisfaction among dental practitioners (although given the small sample size of n=15, this result should be treated with caution).

Table 33: TGA website - Overall satisfaction by Industry, Community and Health professional categories

How satisfied are you with the TGA information website?
Category Nett Dissatisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Nett Satisfied
Medical products industry
Product sponsor 7% 21% 72%
Product manufacturer 6% 21% 73%
Regulatory affairs consultant 7% 19% 75%
Industry association representative 9% 17% 74%
Other 9% 30% 60%
Community
Consumer 10% 24% 66%
Consumer health representative or advocate 7% 22% 72%
Patient 12% 20% 68%
Carer 10% 26% 64%
Other 14% 27% 60%
Health professional
Complementary healthcare practitioner 9% 18% 74%
Dental practitioner 20% 33% 47%
Medical practitioner 7% 31% 62%
Nurse 11% 20% 69%
Pharmacist 12% 17% 71%
Other 10% 29% 61%

Feedback on the TGA website also highlighted the importance of the website to a broad range of users.

TGA business services portal

16 November 2016

TGA Business services portal - Use

More than 80% of the responding sample highlighted that they use the TGA business services website (Table 34). Around one in four respondents were regular users of the site, accessing it either about once a week (6%) or more than once a week (19%) and just under one third (32%) used the site less than once a month.

Table 34: TGA Business services website - Frequency of use

How often do you use the TGA Business services website?
Frequency %
Never 19%
Less than once a month 32%
About once a month 12%
Two or three times a month 10%
About once a week 6%
More than once a week 19%
Not sure 2%

n= 2391

Use of the site varied markedly across stakeholder categories (Table 35), with those identifying in the medical products industry and government categories least likely to highlight that they never use the Business services website. Despite this difference, use of the site was consistently high across all self-identified groupings. This is likely to partly reflect the large cross over across these groups, with many respondents identifying in multiple stakeholder categories. Frequent use (once a week or more often) of the site was highest amongst those in the medical products industry (30%) and community (28%) groupings. In contrast, where they used the site, tetailers and academics tended to do so on an infrequent basis, with 50% of retailers and 44% of academics highlighting use Less than once a month.

Table 35: TGA Business services website - by stakeholder category

How often do you use the TGA Business services website?
Category Never Less than once a month About once a month Two or three times a month About once a week More than once a week Not sure n
Health Professional 23% 37% 9% 9% 6% 14% 3% 445
Medical Products Industry 15% 30% 13% 11% 7% 23% 2% 1622
Community 20% 34% 9% 5% 6% 22% 5% 65
Retailer 21% 50% 11% 8% 2% 4% 4% 169
Government 14% 35% 28% 12% 9% 0% 2% 57
Academic 23% 44% 12% 9% 2% 8% 2% 144
Media 0% 0% 50% 0% 0% 33% 17% 6
Other 23% 29% 14% 7% 6% 18% 3% 403

Within the medical products industry, regulatory affairs consultants appeared most likely to use the site, with only 5% identifying in the never category and three in four (75%) highlighting access at least once a month. Industry association representatives also showed high use of the site, with 64% identifying use at least monthly and only 11% never using the site. Product sponsors also showed high use, although this was less frequent than other groups. Product manufacturers showed generally lower overall use, with one in five (20%) indicating they never use the site and less than half (45%) using it once a month or more often.

Frequency of use, in particular in the most frequent use categories of once a week or more, was also strongly with the number of employees of companies working in the medical products industry (Figure 36). These frequent levels of use were lowest in smaller companies and rose to their highest levels amongst companies with 100-599 (52%), 600-699 59%) and 1000-1499 (58%) employees.

Figure 35: TGA business services website - Frequent use (Weekly or more) by employee numbers (Medical products industry)

Line graph - see Figure 35 in tabular format
Number of employees Percentage
1-19 11%
20-99 36%
100-599 52%
600-999 59%
1000-1499 58%
1500+ 23%

Community respondents showed varied levels of usage of the site, with consumers (38% using the site once a month or more) and carers (25%) usage levels generally less frequent than other groups in this category (Table 36). Use was most frequent amongst health representatives or advocates, with more than half of this group reporting access to the site one a month or more often.

There was also varied use amongst health professional sub groups. Within this category, nurses, complementary healthcare practitioners and pharmacists all showed similar overall usage levels, with between 13% and 16% reporting that they never use the site. Around one in four dental practitioners reported never using the site, however where they did access it, these users tended to show more frequent use, with 59% reporting once a month or more frequent access. This level was above nurses (53%) and complementary healthcare practitioners (42%). The least frequent users in the health professional category were medical practitioners, with more than half (54%) reporting that they never use the business services site and only one in five (20%) accessing monthly or more frequently.

Table 36: TGA Business services website - Frequency of use by Industry, Community and Health professional categories

How often do you use the TGA Business services website?
Category Never Website use - Monthly or more often
Medical products industry
Product sponsor 10% 59%
Product manufacturer 20% 45%
Regulatory affairs consultant 5% 75%
Industry association representative 11% 64%
Other 25% 39%
Community
Consumer 23% 38%
Consumer health representative or advocate 15% 53%
Patient 20% 42%
Carer 21% 25%
Other 14% 49%
Health professional
Complementary healthcare practitioner 14% 42%
Dental practitioner 24% 59%
Medical practitioner 54% 20%
Nurse 13% 53%
Pharmacist 16% 34%
Other 19% 49%

Reasons for use of the business services site most commonly related to lodging applications or checking the progress of applications.

Table 37: TGA Business services website - Reasons for use

Please select the reasons you visit the TGA Business services website.
Response n
Lodge an application(s) 1437
Check the progress of an application 1287
Vary or modify an application 952
Fees and charges information 982
Register with the TGA 861
Pay a bill or fee 770
Other, please specify 170

Average 3.5 selections per user

TGA Business services portal - Satisfaction

Satisfaction with the business services website was generally strong, with 65% highlighting that they are either satisfied or very satisfied and just over one in ten (11%) showing dissatisfaction (Table 38).

Table 38: Business services website - Satisfaction

How satisfied are you with the TGA Business services website?
Statement Nett Dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Satisfied Very satisfied Nett Satisfied Total
Website satisfaction 11.4% 2.2% 9.2% 23.3% 56.9% 8.5% 65.4% 1874

Satisfaction was highest amongst those in the medical products industry (70%) and retailers (65%) and lowest amongst health professionals (58%), government (55%) and academic (49%) users (Table 39). The varied levels of satisfaction where is likely to reflect the diverse information needs of these groups.

Table 39: TGA Business services website - Satisfaction by stakeholder category

How satisfied are you with the TGA Business services website?
Category Nett Dissatisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Nett Satisfied n
Health Professional 14% 28% 58% 327
Medical Products Industry 9% 22% 70% 1342
Community member, consumer or community representative 14% 24% 61% 49
Retailer 12% 23% 65% 126
Government 26% 19% 55% 47
Academic 23% 28% 49% 106
Media 0% 40% 60% 5
Other 16% 25% 59% 297

Within the medical products industry, satisfaction was generally strong across all groups, with both high levels of satisfaction (68%-73%) and low levels of dissatisfaction (10% or lower; Table 40). The exception here was those who identified in the “other” grouping, where satisfaction was at 49% and dissatisfaction rose to 19%.

Consumer satisfaction with the TGA site was identified at 58%, with 14% showing some level of dissatisfaction. Patients and carers showed slightly higher levels of dissatisfaction 61% and 65% respectively, while consumer health representatives were generally satisfied (70% nett satisfaction) and showed low levels of dissatisfaction (9%).

Table 40: TGA Business services website - Satisfaction by Industry, Community and Health professional categories

How satisfied are you with the TGA Business services website?
Category Nett Dissatisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied Nett Satisfied
Medical products industry
Product sponsor 9% 21% 70%
Product manufacturer 9% 23% 69%
Regulatory affairs consultant 6% 21% 73%
Industry association representative 10% 22% 68%
Other 19% 33% 49%
Community
Consumer 14.4% 28% 57.8%
Consumer health representative or advocate 8.9% 22% 70%
Patient 14.3% 24% 61%
Carer 11.9% 23% 65%
Other 25.5% 19% 55%
Health professional
Complementary healthcare practitioner 10% 21% 69%
Dental practitioner 8% 33% 58%
Medical practitioner 19% 28% 53%
Nurse 9% 33% 58%
Pharmacist 8% 29% 63%
Other 21% 27% 52%

Within the health professional grouping, satisfaction with the site was highest amongst complementary healthcare practitioners (69%) and pharmacists. Dissatisfaction was low amongst most health professional categories, with complementary healthcare practitioners, dental practitioners, nurses and pharmacists all showing dissatisfaction with the site at 10% or less. However those who identified as medical practitioners and other health professionals showed low levels of nett satisfaction (53% and 52% respectively) and higher nett dissatisfaction (19% and 21% respectively).

TGA activities - information sessions, consultative processes and events

16 November 2016

Involvement in TGA activities

A total of 555 participants in the survey highlighted involvement in activities conducted by the TGA in the last 12 months (Table 41 and Figure 37). This represented around one in four responses to this question. The most common participation was in the form of an information session (n=370) or consultation process (322).

Table 41: Involvement in TGA activities

In the last 12 months (i.e. since July 2015), have you been involved in any of the following activities conducted by the TGA?
Response n
Information session 370
Consultative processes (e.g. responding to consultation documents) 322
Exhibition (e.g. at conference) 77
No - I have not been involved in any of these activities 1622

Most participants who highlighted participation, indicated involvement in a single activity, however one in three had participated in more than one activity (Table 42).

Table 42: Involvement in TGA activities - Number of activities

Number of activity selections n
1 370
2 156
3 29
Average 1.4

Figure 36: Involvement in TGA activities

Bar chart of Table 41

Activities

A range of specific participation in consultations and events was identified. This most commonly included involvement in the Uniform recall procedure consultation and the event Medical Devices: how to stay included (Table 43 and Figures 38-39).

Table 43: Activity types - Involvement

Please select the consultative processes you have been involved in during the last 12 months
Consultation n
Revised edition of the Uniform Recall Procedure for Therapeutic Goods. 110
Draft clinical evidence guidelines - Medical devices. 85
Proposed Amendments to the Poisons Standard. 44
Consultation - cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine and ranitidine: corrected advisory statement for medicines. 13
Other 114
Please select the event(s) you have attended in the last 12 months
Event n
Medical Devices: how to stay included 153
Devices Sponsor Information Day 85
Clinical trials Notification Roadshow 49
General Practice Conference and Exhibition 6
Rural Medicine Australia 2015 2
2015 National Nursing Forum 0
Other 76

Figure 37: Activity types - Involvement - Consultative processes

Bar chart of Table 43 - consultations

Figure 38: Activity types - Involvement - Events

Bar chart of Table 43 - events

In addition to the events listed in the survey, participants also highlighted a range of "Other" involvement with TGA. This included a range of specific contacts and events, including:

Consultative processes

  • Meetings
  • Direct contacts and discussions
  • Audits and audit guidelines
  • Input on drafts and drafting procedures
  • S19 consultation and guidance
  • Working group participation
  • Expert reviews
  • Informal consultations
  • GMP processes
  • Labelling focussed discussions and consultation
  • Permitted ingredients
  • Manufacturing facilities and certification
  • TGO 91/92

Events

  • Conferences - e.g. ARCS
  • Workshops
  • Web sessions
  • Seminars - e.g. RACI
  • E-Business roadshows
  • Risk Management Procedures sessions and workshops

Satisfaction with activities

Respondents were asked to highlight their satisfaction with a range of statements relating to the events they had participated in (Table 44). There was marked variation across measures. In particular, measures focussing on the information sessions showed very positive outcomes, with 80% or more satisfaction and very few responses indicating dissatisfaction.

Satisfaction with the consultations was lower and varied markedly across the areas tested, however in general, results in these areas remained fairly positive. Participants were generally positive in relation to the information provided and in two out of three cases were satisfied with the procedures employed, simplicity of the processes and ability to provide input and feedback on the consultation. A key opportunity area here relates to follow up on consultations processes, where only 47% expressed satisfaction and one in five participants highlight some level of dissatisfaction.

Table 44: Event satisfaction

Please highlight your satisfaction with the following features of the event(s) you participated in
Statements Nett Dissatisfied Neither Nett Satisfied Total
Consultation procedures 10% 23% 67% 283
Information provided in the consultation documents 7% 19% 74% 281
Simplicity of the consultation processes 10% 23% 67% 281
Follow up on consultation processes 22% 31% 47% 279
Ability to provide input and feedback on the consultation 9% 24% 67% 282
Informativeness of the Exhibition 0% 25% 75% 8
Quality of the Exhibition 0% 25% 75% 8
Informativeness of the Information session 7% 13% 80% 238
Quality of the Information session 5% 11% 83% 239
Overall satisfaction with Consultations 12% 25% 63% 265
Overall satisfaction with Exhibitions (Conference booths) 0% 25% 75% 8
Overall satisfaction with Information sessions 6% 13% 81% 238

Satisfaction with consultations varied markedly across stakeholder categories, however the small sample sizes in all except the health professional and medical products industry categories makes comparison difficult (Tables 45-47). Across these categories there was a slight tendency for those in the medical products industry to show slightly higher satisfaction and lower dissatisfaction. This was the case in relation to consultation procedures, simplicity of processes and Ability to provide input and feedback on the consultation.

Table 45: Event satisfaction - Consultations - by Stakeholder category - Part A

Please highlight your satisfaction with the following features of the event(s) you participated in:
Category Consultation procedures Information provided in the consultation documents Simplicity of the consultation processes
Nett Dissatisfied Nett Satisfied Nett Dissatisfied Nett Satisfied Nett Dissatisfied Nett Satisfied
Health Professional 17% 60% 13% 73% 21% 60%
Medical Products Industry 10% 67% 6% 75% 8% 67%
Community member, consumer or community representative 13% 50% 0% 88% 25% 50%
Retailer 13% 38% 0% 63% 25% 63%
Government 0% 78% 0% 78% 0% 78%
Academic 14% 73% 5% 77% 9% 73%
Media - - - - - -
Other 10% 66% 10% 71% 10% 71%

N: HP=56-58; MPI=213-214; COMM=8; RET=8; GOV=9; Ac=22; MED=0; OTH=41.

Table 46: Event satisfaction - Consultations - by Stakeholder category - Part B

Please highlight your satisfaction with the following features of the event(s) you participated in
Category Follow up on consultation processes Ability to provide input and feedback on the consultation
Nett Dissatisfied Nett Satisfied Nett Dissatisfied Nett Satisfied
Health Professional 23% 44% 12% 63%
Medical Products Industry 25% 44% 8% 68%
Community member, consumer or community representative 25% 38% 0% 50%
Retailer 13% 63% 13% 50%
Government 11% 56% 11% 67%
Academic 14% 55% 9% 64%
Media - - - -
Other 17% 59% 15% 63%

N: HP=56-58; MPI=213-214; COMM=8; RET=8; GOV=9; Ac=22; MED=0; OTH=41.

Overall satisfaction was comparable across stakeholder categories in relation to consultations. Satisfaction with information sessions was higher amongst those in the medical products industry category, where there was a high level of satisfaction in comparison to the health professional group (although there were a limited number of respondents - n=25 - in this group).

Table 47: Overall satisfaction Consultations, Exhibitions, Info sessions - by Stakeholder category

Please highlight your satisfaction with the following features of the event(s) you participated in - Overall satisfaction:
Category Consultations Exhibitions Info sessions
Nett Dissatisfied Nett Satisfied Nett Dissatisfied Nett Satisfied Nett Dissatisfied Nett Satisfied
Health Professional 21% 64% 0% 100% 12% 68%
Medical Products Industry 12% 62% 0% 50% 5% 84%
Community member, consumer or community representative 0% 63% - - 0% 100%
Retailer 17% 50% - - 0% 100%
Government 0% 56% - - 0% 64%
Academic 10% 67% 0% 100% 0% 70%
Media - - - - - -
Other 13% 66% - - 11% 73%

N: HP=55, 4, 25; MPI=203,4,191; COMM=8,0,6; RET=6,0,4; GOV=9,0,11; Ac=21,3,10; MED=0,0,0; OTH=38,0,37.