Annual performance statistics report: July 2016 to June 2017

12 September 2017
cover of report

Executive summary

Each year the TGA provides information on our regulatory performance through the Annual Performance Statistics Report and the Half Yearly Performance Snapshot. We also report annually on our performance under the Regulator Performance Framework through the TGA Self-Assessment (Key Performance Indicators) Report.

The following statistics cover the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 and contribute to our suite of performance reports.

Performance highlights: July 2016 to June 2017

Key observations for 2016-17 are summarised below, including trends and notable changes from previous reporting periods.

Prescription medicines

Since the 2015-16 report, the number of submissions received across some Category 1 application types varied significantly. While the number of New Chemical Entity submissions remained constant, the number of Extension of Indication submissions increased noticeably and the number of generic medicine submissions greatly decreased. All Category 1 submissions processed in 2016-17 were within the legislated 255 working day timeframe and, on average, were decided in 220 working days or less.

Over-the-Counter medicines

The total number of new medicine applications received in 2016-17 was slightly higher than in 2015 16 with an increase in the number of low risk (N1) and medium risk (N3) applications. In the higher risk (N4 and N5) categories, applications received in 2016-17 were roughly half that received in 2015 16. The total number of applications received to vary existing medicines decreased substantially compared with 2015-16, mostly due to a decrease in the number of low risk (C1) applications. The number of higher risk variation (C2, C3 and C4) applications was consistent with previous periods.

While median approval times for new medicine applications in 2016-17 were longer by approximately 2 weeks compared with 2015-16, the percentage of applications processed within target time continued to be at, or very close to 100%. The longer median approval times can be attributed to the increase in the number of lower risk and medium risk applications as well as varying level of complexity of higher risk applications.

Complementary medicines

The number of new ingredients approved for use in listed medicines significantly increased to 79 in 2016-17 compared with 18 in 2015-16, primarily due to a number of excipient ingredients with limited availability being added to the Therapeutic Goods (Permissible Ingredients) Determination under section 26BB of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

The number of post market compliance reviews completed has remained similar with 10% more reviews completed in 2016-17 than in 2015-16. Investigations, which arise from complaints from the public, industry referrals and adverse event reporting, increased in 2016-17 compared with 2015-16. Investigations are assessed using a risk prioritisation system and where required, will result in a compliance review being initiated.

The rate of verified compliance breaches has remained similar; 79% in 2016-17 compared with 80% in 2015-16. This suggests that the significant increase in the number of compliance reviews in recent years has not driven any improvement in compliance rates. The proportion of medicines found to be non-compliant for which breaches included 'insufficient evidence being held by the sponsor to support the medicine indication' was similar; 54% in 2016-17 compared with 64% in 2015-16.

Labelling, advertising and evidence continued to be major compliance breaches for listed medicines. In 2016-17, 22 products were found to have safety related issues, compared with 13 products in 2015-16. This increase was largely a result of continued targeted work undertaken on reviewing the safety of ingredients.

The number of approved new registered complementary medicines increased to 10 in 2016-17 compared with 3 in 2015-16. The total number of variations completed in 2016-17 decreased to 24 compared with 30 in 2015-16.

Biologicals

The number of new and variation applications stabilised following the transition of most biologicals into the new biologicals regulatory framework during 2014-15. The number of Technical Master File variations increased due to work by the public cord blood banks.

Medicine and vaccine adverse event reports

Overall, adverse event reporting increased from 17,633 medicine and vaccine adverse event notifications in 2015-16 to 19,736 in 2016-17. In particular, the increased number of vaccine Adverse Event Reports may reflect recent additions to the National Immunisation Program in 2016. Adverse event reporting from members of the public also increased which is likely to be the result of activity to promote consumer adverse event reporting.

Medical device incident reports

An increase in incident reports in 2016-17 resulted from media attention, sponsor training workshops in 2016 to increase awareness, and expansion of the Insite program.

Medical devices

There was a significant increase in the number of Level 2 compulsory audits of applications for inclusion of Class III and Active Implantable Medical Devices on the ARTG, which include the assessment of clinical evidence, completed in 2016-17 (471) compared with 2015-16 (205). We refined our processes for clinical evidence assessment in relation to audits and built the capability of our assessment teams to improve assessment timeframes for new medical devices. Concurrent assessments by staff with differing expertise, triage of applications and better application of the risk based approach to assessment of evidence for different categories of devices resulted in reduced waiting times for commencement of the audits of applications seeking pre-market authorisation from 8-9 months to about one month. By the end of the reporting period this significantly increased the completion rate of assessments and improved patients' access to new medical devices.

Exports

The number of new export medicine listing applications and variations remained constant over the last two years. The number of export certificates for medicines dropped in 2016-17 by 25%, however there was an increase in the number of device certificates issued. All medicine certificates were issued within the target timeframe of 15 days. Over 80% of device certificates and new listings and variations were also completed within the target timeframe.

All human blood and tissue permits were released within the 24 hour target timeframe to ensure that emergency demands overseas were met.

Access to unapproved therapeutic goods

The number of notifications and applications for most Special Access Scheme (SAS) categories increased since 2015-16, especially Category A for both medicines and devices. An exception is SAS Category B for biologicals as higher volume products previously accessed through SAS are now on the ARTG.

Medicines and biologicals manufacturing

Demand for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) clearances continued to increase with 6,506 applications received during 2016-17 compared with 5,657 in 2015-16. Major contributing factors included sponsors sourcing more products from new and multiple manufacturers, globalisation and company mergers, and overseas regulatory agencies undertaking more inspections in other countries, creating more evidence to be used in support of Australian GMP clearance applications.

Recalls

There was a significant decrease in the number of medicine recalls from 57 in 2015-16 to 32 in 2016-17, and a slight decrease from 611 in 2015-16 to 598 in 2016-17 in the number of medical device recalls.

Laboratory testing

Over the past four years there has been a continued increase in the failure rate of products tested by the TGA Laboratories on a contract basis for external agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and other governments within the region. This increase was again observed in 2016-17. These results highlight the important role we play in supporting other governments to identify sub-standard, degraded or adulterated medicines supplied for use in other countries, and helping to ensure continued health security for the region, including Australia.

Regulatory compliance

Investigations increased by 64% in 2016-17, with 2,887 completed compared with 1,760 in 2015-16. The largest contributor to investigations continues to be referrals from Australian Border Force in relation to the importation of unapproved prescription medicines.

1. Prescription medicines

12 September 2017

Applications to register new or vary existing prescription medicines are accompanied by supportive scientific data and evaluated, with timeframes underpinned by legislation and/or associated business rules.

The framework for prescription medicines includes the following categories which are subject to legislated timeframes:

  • Category 1 application: An application to register a new prescription medicine (other than an additional trade name) or to make a variation to an existing medicine that involves the evaluation of clinical, pre clinical or bio-equivalence data. For example, new chemical entities, extensions of indication and new routes of administration.

    The legislated timeframes for the two stages of a Category 1 application are: 40 working days for notification of acceptance or rejection of the application and 255 working days for the completion of the evaluation and notification of the decision.

  • Category 2 application: An application accompanied by two independent evaluation reports from comparable overseas regulators in whose jurisdiction the product is approved for the same indication.

    The legislated timeframes for the two stages of a Category 2 application are: 20 working days for notification of acceptance or rejection of an application and 175 working days to notify the applicant of the decision.

  • Category 3 application: An application to register or to vary the registration of a prescription medicine where the application does not require the support of clinical, pre clinical or bio-equivalence data. For example, a change in the site of manufacture, a change to the synthetic route, a change in the product specifications, a change in the steps of manufacture or a change in trade name.

    The legislated timeframe for a Category 3 application is 45 working days for notification of acceptance or rejection of an application, completion of evaluation and notification of the decision.

1.1. Approval times

Once an application has been accepted by the TGA, the approval time is defined as the number of TGA working days until a decision is made. As detailed above, this timeframe is underpinned by legislation and excludes public holidays, weekends, the time allocated to the applicant to provide responses to requests for information and 'mutual clock stop' periods agreed with the applicant.

In accordance with the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990, a 'submission' may include a number of applications submitted at the one time. The data presented below relates to submissions as this best reflects the evaluation and decision-making processes.

Table 1 Prescription medicine application approval time for July 2016 to June 2017
  Approval time (TGA working days)
Application type Submissions approved Legislated timeframe Mean Median Range
A: New chemical entity
Category 1 38 255 220 208 161-238
B: New fixed-dose combination
Category 1 4 255 201 203 179-218
C: Extension of indication
Category 1 45 255 198 202 106-238
D: New generic medicine
Category 1 111 255 182 172 109-254
E: Additional trade name (ATN)
Category 1 2 255 140 140 44-237
ATN 47 45 34 36 10-62
F: Major variation
Category 1 46 255 185 185 134-226
G: Minor variation
Category 1 0 255 N/A N/A N/A
Category 3 104 45 27 26 8-43
H: Minor variation
Category 1 4 255 142 143 111-172
Category 3 1,253 45 24 23 1-51
J: Changes to Product Information requiring the evaluation of data
Category 1 63 255 142 140 46-228
Table 2 Prescription medicine median approval time comparisons
  Median approval time (TGA working days)
Application type Legislated timeframe 2015-16 2016-17
A: New chemical entity
Category 1 255 199 208
B: New fixed-dose combination
Category 1 255 167 203
C: Extension of indication
Category 1 255 195 202
D: New generic medicine
Category 1 255 158 172
E: Additional trade name (ATN)a
Category 1 255 219 140
ATN 45 35 36
F: Major variation
Category 1 255 183 185
G: Minor variationb
Category 1 255 163 0 b
Category 3 45 19 26
H: Minor variationc
Category 1 255 146 143
Category 3 45 20 23
J: Changes to Product Information requiring the evaluation of data
Category 1 255 134 140
  1. In July 2015, a legislated 45 working day process for ATN submissions commenced. These applications were under both the Category 1 framework with a legislated timeframe of 255 working days and the new ATN submission framework with a legislated timeframe of 45 working days.
  2. The type G minor variations differ from type H minor variations in that they result in a new ARTG entry. No type G Category 1 applications were approved in 2016-17.
  3. The minor variations (type H) refer to applications to change the formulation, composition or design specification or the container for the goods or any other attribute that results in the goods being separate and distinct. These applications are typically 'Category 3' changes, unless the supporting scientific package contains non-clinical or clinical data in which case the application is a 'Category 1' application.

Figure 1 Submissions received 2015-16 to 2016-17

Jul 15 - Jun 16: New Chemical Entity 43, Extension of Indication 46, New Generic Medicine 142; Jul 16 - Jun 17: New Chemical Entity 43, Extension of Indication 56, New Generic Medicine 100
Figure 1 Submissions received 2015-16 to 2016-17
Application type Jul 15 - Jun 16 Jul 16 - Jun 17
New chemical entity 43 43
Extension of indication 46 56
New generic medicine 142 100

Figure 2 Mean approval times 2015-16 to 2016-17

Jul 15 - Jun 16: New Chemical Entity 193, Extension of Indication 186, New Generic Medicine 170; Jul 16 - Jun 17: New Chemical Entity 220, Extension of Indication 198, New Generic Medicine 182
Figure 2 Mean approval times 2015-16 to 2016-17
Application type Jul 15 - Jun 16 Jul 16 - Jun 17
New chemical entity 193 220
Extension of indication 186 198
New generic medicine 170 182

Figure 3 Median approval times 2015-16 to 2016-17

Jul 15 - Jun 16: New Chemical Entity 199, Extension of Indication 195, New Generic Medicine 158; Jul 16 - Jun 17: New Chemical Entity 208, Extension of Indication 202, New Generic Medicine 172
Figure 3 Median approval times 2015-16 to 2016-17
Application type Jul 15 - Jun 16 Jul 16 - Jun 17
New chemical entity 199 208
Extension of indication 195 202
New generic medicine 158 172

1.2. Submission outcomes

Table 3 Number of completed prescription medicine submissions by type and outcome for July 2016 to June 2017
Submission Type Approved Withdrawn Rejected Total
A: New chemical entity 38 4 0 42
B: New fixed-dose combination 4 2 0 6
C: Extension of indication 45 2 2 49
D: New generic medicine 111 2 2 115
E: Additional trade name (ATN) (Category 1) 2 0 0 2
E: ATN 47 1 0 48
F: Major variation 46 2 1 49
G: Minor variation 104 2 0 106
H: Minor variation (Category 1) 4 0 0 4
H: Minor variation (Category 3) 1,253 16 0 1,269
J: Changes to Product Information 63 3 0 66
Total 1,717 34 5 1,756

1.3. Other applications

In addition to the application types discussed above, we also process numerous other application types. These applications are assessed in accordance with a risk-based approach, for example, some requests are categorised as 'self-assessable' and do not usually involve the evaluation of scientific data. Some applications are received because the sponsors are obliged to inform the TGA of new information related to the safety of their products. Other applications involve editorial corrections to the register entry or the associated product information document. The number of these applications is presented below.

In accordance with the legislation, registered medicines must comply with numerous standards at the time they are registered and throughout their lifecycle. Following an appropriate application and review of the scientific data and safety considerations, we may grant an 'exemption' from a particular standard for a product. The number of applications approved and rejected is also presented below.

Table 4 Number of other prescription medicine applications
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Prescription medicine applications
Safety related request 781 738
Self-assessable request 1,404 1,244
Minor editorial change to product information 481 459
Correction of error 123 124
Total 2,789 2,565
Exemptions to comply with a standard
Approved 88 89
Rejected 0 1
Total 88 90

1.4. Orphan drug designations

'Orphan drugs' are often developed to treat small and very specific patient populations who suffer from rare diseases and conditions. The application and evaluation fees for orphan drugs can be waived to help reduce their development costs and facilitate their access to the Australian marketplace. A medicine needs to be designated by the TGA as an orphan drug before an application can be accepted to register it on the ARTG. The designation process involves a review of whether the drug meets the established criteria which are underpinned by legislation.

The quality, efficacy and safety of orphan drugs are assessed at the same standard as for other registered prescription medicines.

Table 5 Number of orphan drug designations
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Number of designations 22 29

2. Over-the-Counter medicines

12 September 2017

Over-the-Counter (OTC) medicine applications are categorised as new medicine (N) or change (C) applications and are further categorised by risk (N1 and C1 are low risk, N5 and C4 are highest risk). The OTC application categorisation framework outlined below defines the different OTC medicine application levels and the key application criteria.

Table 6 Categorisation of OTC medicine applications
Application category Definition
N1 An application submitted as a 'Clone'.
N2 An application which complies with an OTC medicine monograph.
N3 New application for a 'generic' medicine other than those 'generic' applications in levels N1, N2 or N4.
N4

An application for a 'generic' medicine where the medicine:

  • requires supporting safety and/or efficacy (clinical/toxicological) data or a justification for not providing such data; and/or
  • requires a higher level of assessment due to the umbrella branding segment of the product name; and/or
  • has not been previously registered as an OTC medicine following down-scheduling.
N5 An application for a new product that is an extension to a 'generic category' product or an application for a product containing a new chemical entity as an active ingredient.
C1 Quality and non-quality changes classified as 'negligible risk'.
C2 Quality and non-quality changes classified as 'low risk' ' no safety and/or efficacy data required; quality data may be required.
C3

Quality and non-quality changes classified as 'low risk' ' safety and/or efficacy data required unless justified; quality data may be required.

Umbrella branding segment of new name requires a higher level of assessment.

C4 Non-quality changes classified as 'moderate risk' ' safety and/or efficacy data required unless justified.
B1 Request for advice in relation to a registered OTC medicine for the purpose of listing the medicine as a pharmaceutical benefit that does not contain clinical data.
B3 Request for advice in relation to a registered OTC medicine for the purpose of listing the medicine as a pharmaceutical benefit that contains clinical data or a justification as to why such data is not needed.
Requests for consent under section 14/14A of the Act Request for consent by the Secretary under sections 14 and 14A of the Act to the import, export or supply of therapeutic goods that do not comply with an applicable standard.

2.1 Approval times

Approval time is defined as the number of working days from the acceptance of the application until formal notification of decision. Approval time excludes time where we were unable to progress the application until the sponsor provided additional information unless otherwise specified.

We aim to have 80% of applications completed within target timeframes. Target timeframes for processing of applications are a result of new OTC pre-market business processes and are subject to ongoing review.

Table 7 Median approval time for OTC medicine applications
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
New medicine applications (days)
N1 14 27
N2 26 43
N3 90 94
N4 89 106
N5 151 192
Change applications (days)
C1 5 7
C2 8 14
C3 31 14
C4 110 86
Table 8 OTC medicine approval time against target time by application category for July 2016 to June 2017
Application type Number completed Range Mean Median Target time (days) % within target
New medicines
N1 93 0-41 25 27 45 100
N2 7 37-47 42 43 55 100
N3 29 16-143 88 94 150 100
N4 29 4-162 101 106 170 100
N5 8 45-196 167 192 210 100
Change applications
C1 396 0-75 8 7 20 97
C2 226 0-78 21 14 64 99.6
C3 7 10-107 30 14 120 100
C4 1 86 86 86 170 100
Table 9 Percentage of OTC medicine applications processed within target time
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
New medicine applications (%)
N1 100 100
N2 100 100
N3 100 100
N4 100 100
N5 83a 100
Change applications (%)
C1 97 97
C2 99 99.6
C3 100 100
C4 100 100
  1. Of the six N5 applications completed in 2015-16, one was not completed within the target timeframe. This application required referral to the Advisory Committee on Non-prescription Medicines (ACNM), which typically extends the evaluation process by 3-6 months.

2.2. Applications

2.2.1 New OTC medicine applications

Table 10 Applications received for new OTC medicines and changes to existing medicines
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
New medicine applications
N1 75 108
N2 13 5
N3 30 44
N4 45 23
N5 14 6
Total 177 186
Change applications
C1 632 387
C2 312 276
C3 8 7
C4 1 2
Total 953 672

2.2.2 Completed applications

Table 11 New OTC medicine applications completed and outcomes
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
N1
Approved 79 93
Rejected 0 0
Withdrawn by sponsor 0 1
Returned/failed screening 1 0
Total 80 94
N2
Approved 3 7
Rejected 0 0
Withdrawn by sponsor 0 1
Returned/failed screening 5 0
Total 8 8
N3
Approved 25 29
Rejected 0 0
Withdrawn by sponsor 7 2
Returned/failed screening 7 3
Total 39 34
N4
Approved 50 29
Rejected 0 0
Withdrawn by sponsor 0 0
Returned/failed screening 5 6
Total 55 35
N5
Approved 6 8
Rejected 0 0
Withdrawn by sponsor 1 0
Returned/failed screening 5 0
Total 12 8
Table 12 OTC change applications completed and outcomes
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
C1
Approved 618 396
Rejected 0 0
Withdrawn by sponsor 15 10
Returned/failed screening 0 0
Total 633 406
C2
Approved 309 226
Rejected 0 0
Withdrawn by sponsor 3 7
Returned/failed screening 0 1
Total 312 234
C3
Approved 4 7
Rejected 0 0
Withdrawn by sponsor 0 1
Returned/failed screening 0 2
Total 4 10
C4
Approved 12 1
Rejected 0 0
Withdrawn by sponsor 0 0
Returned/failed screening 0 0
Total 12 1

2.2.3 Other applications

In addition to the application types discussed above, we also process other application types. This includes requests for advice for the purpose of listing a medicine as a pharmaceutical benefit. The number of requests is presented below.

In accordance with the legislation, registered goods must comply with numerous standards at the time they are registered and throughout their lifecycle. Following an appropriate application and review of the scientific data and safety considerations, we may grant an 'exemption from a particular standard for a product. The number of applications approved and rejected is also presented below.

Table 13 Number of other OTC medicine applications
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Requests for advice for the purpose of listing a medicine as a pharmaceutical benefita
B1 N/A 1
B3 N/A 1
Total N/A 2
Requests for consent under section 14/14A of the Act to import, export or supply therapeutic goods not complying with an applicable standardb
Approved N/A 25
Rejected N/A 1
Total N/A 26
  1. B1 and B3 requests have recently been implemented. This is the first year for reporting on these application types. Both B1 and B3 applications were approved.
  2. Reporting of requests under section 14/14A of the Act has been introduced in this reporting period.

3. Complementary medicines

12 September 2017

3.1. Registered complementary medicines

Registered complementary medicines are considered to be of relatively higher risk than listed medicines based on their ingredients or the indications for the medicine. These medicines are fully evaluated by us for quality, safety and efficacy prior to being accepted on the ARTG.

Table 14 Registered complementary medicine applications by outcome
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
New medicines
Approved 2 6
Rejected 0 1
Withdrawn 1 3
Returned/failed screening 0 0
Total new applications completed 3 10
Variations
Approved 27 20
Rejected 0 1
Withdrawn 3 3
Returned/failed screening 0 0
Total variations completed 30 24
Application for consent to import, supply or export goods under section 14/14A of the Acta
Approved 1 1
Rejected 0 0
Total applications completed 1 1
  1. Applications can be made for consent to import, supply or export goods under section 14/14A of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

3.2. New ingredients permitted for use in listed medicines

Table 15 New listed medicine ingredient applications by outcome
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Application outcome
Approved 18a 79b
Rejected 0 0
Withdrawn 0 1
Returned/failed screening 2 0
Total completed 20 80
  1. This includes 10 ingredients that were permitted as per the Therapeutic Goods (Listing) Notice 2015 (No. 4) following TGA initiated assessments.
  2. This includes a large number of ingredients that were made available for excipient use in specific circumstances in listed medicines following TGA initiated assessments.

3.3. Listed medicines

Table 16 New listed medicines
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
New listed medicines 1,644 1,581
Table 17 Listed medicine variations under section 9D of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Medicine variation
Approved 102 85
Rejected 16 4
Total 118 89

Section 9D of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 provides for variations to be made to an entry on the ARTG in a set of limited and prescribed circumstances. These circumstances include where information included on the ARTG is incomplete or incorrect.

Table 18 Listed medicine applications under section 14/14A of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Application
Exemptiona granted 7 7
Rejected 4 2
Total 11 9
  1. Sponsors can apply for certain exemptions under Section 14 of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. Applications seek consent to import, export or supply a complementary medicine that does not comply with the applicable standards.Listed medicine reviews

3.3.1 Investigations

Investigations include complaints and referrals from internal and external stakeholders and screening of recently listed medicines on the ARTG, but can also include products not listed on the ARTG. All investigations are assessed and triaged based on a risk management approach to provide the greatest overall benefit for the Australian public. Investigations may be completed through a number of mechanisms, such as initiating a targeted review or referral to another area of the TGA.

Table 19 Listed medicine investigations undertaken and outcomes
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Initiated investigations 114 201
Completed investigations
Medicines prioritised for targeted review 69 134
Referred to another TGA area or government organisation 14 18
No further action takena 32 54
Total completed investigations 115 206
  1. The outcome 'no further action taken' includes examples where the investigation was resolved by other means such as the product has been or is currently under review; the complaint was not justified and did not warrant further action; or advice was provided to the complainant.

3.3.2 Compliance reviews

Listed medicines are not evaluated by the TGA before they are included on the ARTG. However, a proportion is reviewed to check their compliance against relevant regulatory requirements. Compliance reviews may only review selected listing requirements.

Medicines may be randomly selected or targeted for a review. Medicines are randomly selected for review by a computer, based on a mathematical model. Targeted reviews can originate from a number of signals and are initiated following an investigation.

A compliance review will result in one of the following outcomes:

  • no compliance breaches are identified against selected listing requirements, the review is concluded and the medicine remains on the ARTG
  • compliance breaches are identified for the selected listing requirements
  • the review is not completed as the sponsor has cancelled the medicine
  • the review is closed due to the unavailability of information in determining its compliance status.
Table 20 Listed medicine reviews by type
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Initiated reviews
Targeted reviews 173 504
Random reviews 340 87
Total 513 591
Reviews on hand 151 189
Completed reviews
Targeted reviews 158 421
Random reviews 315 130
Total 473 551
Table 21 Completed listed medicine reviews by outcome
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Compliance status determined
Medicines with no compliance breaches 81 87
Medicines with verified compliance breaches 327 330
Sub-total 408 417
Compliance status unable to be determined
Medicines cancelled by sponsors after request for information 43 74
Medicines not yet manufactured 19 58
Other 1 1
Sub-total 63 133
Product not a therapeutic good 2 1
Total completed 473 551

Figure 4 Outcomes of compliance reviews by reason for initiation

circle chart

In this period, we have performed a higher proportion of targeted reviews than in 2015-16. We initiated a number of targeted compliance projects based on the compliance data obtained from the previous reporting period. These projects have covered oral probiotics indicated for vaginal conditions and listed medicines with blood glucose and cholesterol indications. Of the reviews where we were able to determine a compliance status, 79% had verified compliance breaches, which is consistent with the non-compliance rate from the previous period, despite the different proportion of random to targeted reviews.

Table 22 Types of listed medicine compliance issues identified

Of the completed compliance reviews, the following are the types of issues identified in those medicines where a compliance breach was verified. Individual medicines may have multiple issues.

Table 22 Types of listed medicine compliance issues identified
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Type of compliance issue
Information provided in ARTG entry 53 119
Manufacturing, quality and/or formulation 63 62
Labellinga 110 94
Advertisinga 71 86
Unacceptable presentationa 119 140
Evidenceb 210 180
Safetyc 13 22
Non-response to a request for informationd 6 8
Otherd 2 4
  1. In previous reports 'Labelling', 'Advertising' and 'Unacceptable presentation' were reported collectively as 'Labelling and/or advertising'. The 2015-16 data has been updated to incorporate the additional breakdown of categories. 'Unacceptable presentation' includes the presentation (labelling, packaging and any advertising material) being misleading to consumers and text and graphics being unacceptable.
  2. 'Evidence' means the evidence held by the sponsor does not support the claims relating to the medicine.
  3. 'Safety' means that the medicine is not safe for the purposes for which it is to be used.
  4. In previous reports 'other' included non-response to a request for information. However this is now being reported separately.

Figure 5 Types of compliance issues identified by reason for initiation

pie charts showing types of compliance issues for random reviews and targeted reviews
Compliance issue Random reviews Targeted reviews
Evidence 23% 23%
Unacceptable presentation 22% 15%
Advertising code 10% 12%
Labelling 27% 17%
Quality 6% 9%
ARTG entryc 9% 19%
Safety 1% 4%
Non-response to RFIa 1% 1%
Otherb 1% 0%

Figure 5 shows the types of compliance issues that are identified through reviews which are either randomly selected or targeted for a particular issue. Multiple breaches may be identified for each medicine that is found to be non-compliant; for example, 54% of non-compliant medicines were found to have insufficient evidence to support the medicine indication, yet this breach accounted for 23% of the total breaches identified across all non-compliant medicines.

  1. 'RFI' refers to 'Requests For Information'.
  2. 'Other' compliance issues may include the sponsor failing to comply with a condition that the medicine is subject to.
  3. 'ARTG entry' broadly refers to situations where the information on the ARTG is incorrect, including indications that are not eligible for listing and ingredients that do not comply with listing requirements.

For both random and targeted reviews, the most common compliance issues have consistently been labelling/ advertising and evidence issues. For targeted reviews in 2016-17, there was a slightly higher proportion of compliance issues related to the ARTG, quality or safety, whereas in 2015-16 there was a significantly higher proportion of evidence and labelling/advertising issues. This is likely to be the result of a number of targeted compliance projects undertaken during this period that focussed on these issues.

Table 23 Actions taken following listed medicine reviews
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Actions following a Request for Information
Medicines found to be compliant and review concluded 81 87
Medicines cancelled by the TGA without a proposal to cancel notice 0 0
Proposal to cancel notice or warninga sent by the TGA 327 330
Total 408 417
Actions following Proposal to Cancel noticeb
Medicines cancelled by the TGA 44 17
Medicines cancelled by sponsors after being notified of compliance breaches 76 84
Reviews concluded after compliance breaches were addressed 207 229
  1. In some targeted review projects, sponsors are sent a 'warning' letter instead of a 'proposal to cancel' letter. A proposal to cancel or warning letter are considered the same for reporting purposes.
  2. The figures provided under 'Actions following a Proposal to Cancel notice' are a breakdown of the figures provided under 'Actions following a Request for Information'.

Figure 6 Outcomes of completed compliance reviews

Compliant 21%; Compliant after Proposal to Cancel or warning 55%; Cancelled by sponsor request after Proposal to Cancel or warning 20%; Cancelled by TGA after Proposal to Cancel or warning 4%
Outcome Percent
Compliant 21%
Compliant after Proposal to Cancel or warning 55%
Cancelled by sponsor request after Proposal to Cancel or warning 20%
Cancelled by TGA after Proposal to Cancel or warning 4%

Figure 6 shows that a significant proportion of listed medicine reviews are concluded after the sponsor has adequately addressed the compliance breaches identified by us. Under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 sponsors are given an opportunity to respond to issues raised during a compliance review. There was a slight decrease in the number of listed medicines cancelled by the TGA following a Proposal to cancel or warning letter (4%) compared with the previous period (11%). The high proportion of listed medicines that are brought back into compliance after a Proposal to cancel, combined with the decrease in listed medicines cancelled by the TGA, shows that industry is willing to work with us to ensure the supply of listed medicines on the ARTG is compliant.

4. Biologicals

12 September 2017

The Australian Regulatory Guidelines for Biologicals define the different biological classes.

4.1. Inclusion of biologicals

Table 24 Applications for biologicals received and on hand
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Applications received
Technical Master File (TMF)a new 2 0
TMF annual updates 6 5
TMF variations 9 20
TMF notifications 7 27
Plasma Master Fileb annual updates 15 11
Biological Class 2 - new applications 2 4
Biological Class 3 - new applications 2 0
Biological Class 2 - variations 26 14
Biological Class 3 - variations 2 1
Total received 71 82
Applications on hand
TMF new 2 1
TMF annual updates 4 4
TMF variations 2 7
TMF notifications 0 0
Plasma Master File annual updates 3 4
Biological Class 2 - new applications 3 6
Biological Class 3 - new applications 4 3
Biological Class 2 - variations 7 2
Biological Class 3 - variations 1 0
Total on hand 26 27
  1. Technical Master Files (TMF) contain information from manufacturers that demonstrate how product safety and quality standards have been met for Blood, Blood Components and Haematopoietic Progenitor Cells.
  2. Plasma Master Files contain control strategies that ensure the quality and safety of plasma, from collection through to plasma pooling prior to fractionation and including donor selection criteria and testing, which are part of medicinal products or medical devices.
Table 25 Completed applications for biologicals
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Biologicals applications
Technical Master File (TMF) new 2 1
TMF annual updates 5 5
TMF variations 7 19
TMF notifications 7 27
Plasma Master File annual updates 14 7
Biological Class 2 - new applications 4 1
Biological Class 3 - new applications 0 1
Biological Class 2 - variations 21 18
Biological Class 3 - variations 5 2
Total completed 65 81

5. Medicine and vaccine adverse event reports

12 September 2017

5.1. Adverse medicine and vaccine reaction notifications

Table 26 Source of notifications of medicine and vaccine adverse reactions
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Reports with clear causality by reporter
Hospitals 2,194 1,850
Companies 8,776 9,194
General practitioners 644 573
Specialists 221 245
Pharmacists 883 1,063
Members of the public 813 1,104
Nurses, dentists, complementary healthcare practitioners 214 157
State/Territory Health departments 2,619 3,274
Reports withdrawn, or rejected, or without clear causality
  1,269 2,276
Total received 17,633 19,736
Mean number of reports received weekly 339 380
Vaccine reports included in this table 3,361 4,020

6. Medical devices

12 September 2017

The Medical Devices Regulatory Framework spans the life cycle for these products, including:

  • Conformity assessment: Is the systematic examination by the manufacturer to determine that a medical device is safe and performs as intended and, therefore, conforms to the Essential Principles. Certification of the manufacturer's conformity assessment procedure may (and in some cases must) be undertaken by the TGA, or we may recognise conformity assessment certification from European notified bodies.
  • Inclusion on the ARTG: Medical devices cannot be imported, supplied in, or exported from Australia unless they are included on the ARTG or a valid exemption applies, for example custom made medical devices, importation of samples, etc. A sponsor can apply to include a medical device on the ARTG if the device complies with the Essential Principles and appropriate conformity assessment procedures have been applied to the device (typically demonstrated through conformity assessment certification).
  • Post-market monitoring: Once a medical device has been included on the ARTG the device must continue to meet all the regulatory, safety and performance requirements and standards that were required for the approval.

6.1. Conformity assessment

6.1.1 Applications

Table 27 Number of conformity assessment applications (medical devices including IVDs)
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Conformity assessment applications
Applications received 257 242
Applications on hand 178 213
Applications completed 187a 204
  1. Due to a correction in coding, a small variation has occurred to the data.

6.1.2 Outcomes

Table 28 Outcomes of conformity assessment applications
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
New
Approved 49 37
Rejected 3 1
Withdrawn / Lapsed 23 20
Variation (changes and re-certifications)
Approved 91 124
Rejected 3 2
Withdrawn / Lapsed 18 20
Total 187 204

Table 30 has been broken down into 'New' and 'Variation' assessment application to provide additional transparency and understanding. In reviewing the changes in reporting the final total was increased by one, as per updates to operational data.

6.1.3 Processing times

We are required to complete conformity assessment applications within 255 working days.

Processing time is defined as the number of working days from the acceptance of the application until formal notification of decision. Under the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990, working days exclude public holidays and weekends. Processing time excludes time where we were unable to progress the application until the sponsor provided additional information unless otherwise specified.

Table 29 TGA processing times for new devices and variations
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
New devices
Mean TGA processing time (days) 133 129
Median TGA processing time (days) 178 167
Variations (changes and recertifications)
Mean TGA processing time (days) 93 114
Median TGA processing time (days) 71 101

During 2016-17, 100% of conformity assessment applications were completed within 200 working days.

6.2. Inclusion of medical devices (including IVDs)

6.2.1 Applications

Table 30 Applications for inclusion – medical devices (including IVDs)
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Class I medical devicesa
Applications received 2,685 2,514
Applications completed 2,690 2,431
Class I measuring medical devices
Applications received 48 51
Applications completed 48 50
Applications on handb 2 4
Class I sterile medical devices
Applications received 257 246
Applications completed 253 255
Applications on handb 11 3
Class IIa medical devices
Applications received 1,178 1,160
Applications completed 1,206 1,178
Applications on handb 58 51
Class IIb medical devices
Applications received 654 666
Applications completed 716 682
Applications on handb 40 34
Class III medical devices
Applications received 344 343
Applications completed 249 471
Applications on handb 313 180
Class III Joint Reclassification medical devicesc
Applications received 0 0
Applications completed 355 203
Applications on handb 294 94
Active Implantable Medical Devices (AIMD)
Applications received 49 48
Applications completed 19 87
Applications on handb 62 23
Class 1 IVDsd
Applications received 92 94
Applications completed 112 91
Applications on handb 1 4
Class 2 IVDs
Applications received 104 96
Applications completed 148 94
Applications on handb 10 12
Class 3 IVDs
Applications received 65 49
Applications completed 131 45
Applications on handb 11 15
Class 4 IVDs
Applications received 25 15
Applications completed 29 15
Applications on handb 0 0
  1. Class I medical devices are automatically included (i.e. these applications are completed within 24 hours). There are no applications for this classification of device 'on hand'. Differences in the number received and finalised relate to those applications received on the last day of the reporting period and/or technological errors occurring in the system.
  2. Applications on hand - figures shown are correct as of the date when the data was extracted. There may also be delays between the date of the decision and the time when the system is updated due to administrative and/or technological processes.
  3. The transition period for joint reclassification finished on 30 June 2015. A large number of applications were received at the end of this transition period, late in the January to June 2015 reporting period. As the transition period has now finished Class III joint reclassification applications will be rolled into the general Class III applications in future reports.
  4. The number of applications for Class 1 IVD includes auto-included devices and applications completed with or without audit.

6.2.2 Outcomes

Class I automatically included medical devices are not counted in the outcomes for inclusion applications as these applications cannot be rejected.

Table 31 Outcomes of medical device applications by classification
  Number of applications
2015-16 2016-17
Device Classification Approved/ Accepted Rejected/ Lapsed Withdrawn Approved/ Accepted Rejected/ Lapsed Withdrawn
Class I 2,690 0 0 2,431 0 0
Class I Measurement 47 0 1 44 2 4
Class I Sterile 234 0 19 248 0 7
Class IIa 1,132 2 72 1,128 6 44
Class IIb 679 1 36 659 3 20
Class III 207 12 30 398 18 55
Class III Reclassification 278 7 70 152 3 48
AIMD 17 0 2 87 0 0
Class 1 IVDa 112 0 0 84 0 7
Class 2 IVDa 136 3 9 71 2 21
Class 3 IVDa 123 1 7 37 0 8
Class 4 IVDa 28 0 1 14 0 1
  1. The IVD transition period ended on 30 June 2015, with a number of applications received late in the transition period. The higher number of applications completed in 2015-16 reflected the end of this transition period.

6.2.3 Processing times

The agreed target time for Level 1 application audits is 30 TGA work days and for Level 2 application audits is 60 TGA work days (reflected in 'TGA days'). This does not include the period we are waiting for information or payment of fees (reflected in 'sponsor days').

Table 32 Processing times for medical device application audits (including IVDs)
  2015-16 2016-17
Number of applications Sponsor days TGA daysa Number of applications Sponsor days TGA daysa
Mean Processing Time
Medical devices
Applications completed without audit 2,112b     2,105    
Non-compulsory auditc 497 30 43 310 42 55
Level 1 compulsory audit 32 27 26 40 25 18
Level 2 compulsory audit 205 55 161 471 74 159
IVDs
Applications completed without audit 148b     77    
IVD non-compulsory audit 17 41 65 10 35 46
IVD compulsory audit 159 26 45 82 29 39
Median Processing Time
Medical devices
Applications completed without audit 2,112b     2,105    
Non-compulsory auditc 497 21 21 310 27 24
Level 1 compulsory audit 32 23 9 40 23 13
Level 2 compulsory audit 205 49 158 471 60 155
IVDs
Applications completed without audit 148b     77    
IVD non-compulsory audit 17 33 58 10 22 36
IVD compulsory audit 159 21 41 82 18 29
  1. TGA time starts when the application is selected for audit, and does not include public holidays and weekends, and the time when we wait for information or payment from the sponsor.
  2. Auto-included applications for Class I and Class 1 IVD are complete within 24 hours, and not included in the figures above.
  3. Non-compulsory audit – estimate for the audit processing time does not include applications for reclassification of joint replacement medical devices received during transitional period (Class III Joint Reclassification medical devices), and applications supported by European Community (EC) certificates issued by certain notified bodies.

6.3. Post-market monitoring

6.3.1 Compliance reviews

As Class I medical devices are automatically included on the ARTG, we undertake post-market compliance reviews for these devices. This includes restricted word reviews, where applications for Class I devices are identified by the use of specific words indicative of risk, or listing issues relating to the inclusion of the device.

We also conduct targeted compliance reviews that are initiated on a case by case basis. These may be conducted in relation to devices of any Class.

Table 33 Restricted word Class 1 medical device and targeted compliance reviews
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Restricted word reviews
Reviews completed 0 54
Reviews commenced 1 55
Reviews on hand 1 1
Targeted compliance reviewsa
Reviews completed 104 35
Reviews commenced 83 45
Reviews on hand 164 175

6.3.2 Post-market reviews

We also undertake a range of post market reviews.

Table 34 Medical device targeted reviews
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Post market reviews
Reviews commenced - number of ARTG entries 80 396
Reviews completed - number of ARTG entries 83 239
Reviews on hand - number of ARTG entries 163 263

6.3.3 Medical device incident reports

Processing time is defined as the number of working days from the receipt of the notification until the incident has been investigated and resolved. Under the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990, working days exclude public holidays and weekends.

The target timeframe for processing of medical device incident reports is 90 working days.

Table 35 Number of medical device incident reports and processing times
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Device incident reports
Reports received 3,841 4,896
Reports completed 3,608 4,918
Reports still in progress 207 380
Processing time
Mean TGA processing time (days) 1 1
Median TGA processing time (days) 14 10
Percentage processed within target timeframe 100% 95%
Table 36 Medical device incident report outcomesa
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Incident report outcome
Reviewed and used for trend analysis purposes 2,988 4,125
Reviewed, no further action required 330 279
Product recall 40 70
Recall for product correction 19 4
Hazard alert 25 22
Product notification 1 0
Safety alert 9 20
Product enhancement/improvement notice 0 1
Instructions for use amended 3 5
Referral for post-market review 23 82
Refer to another TGA Branch 51 39
Company warned 0 13
Product suspended from ARTG 0 0
Product cancelled from ARTG 4 1
Manufacturing process improvements 10 12
Quality system process improvements 1 0
Maintenance carried out by the hospital 0 0
Change to design 13 3
Not device related 9 16
Other 39 81
  1. Outcomes are not mutually exclusive.

6.3.4 Devices manufacturing

Table 37 Outcomes of Quality Management System (QMS) audits of Australian manufacturers
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
QMS audits (Australia)
Number of audits conducted 38 38
Satisfactory compliance (of completed audits) 79% 71%
Marginal compliance (of completed audits) 21% 24%
Unacceptable (of completed audits) 0% 0%
Close-out in Progress 0% 5%
Processing time
Initial audits conducted within 3 months of applicationa 17% 57%
Re-audits conducted within 6 months of due date 41% 16%
  1. The improvement in processing times for initial audits was the outcome of process improvement resulting in more timely internal notification of required audits, and more up to date status of manufacturers due to the Medical Devices Single Audit Program (MDSAP).
Table 38 Outcomes of QMS audits of overseas manufacturers
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
QMS audits (overseas)
Number of audits conducted 20 26
Satisfactory compliance (of completed audits) 75% 92%
Marginal compliance (of completed audits) 15% 0%
Unacceptable (of completed audits) 10% 0%
Close-out in Progress 0% 8%
Processing time
Initial certification audits conducted within 6 months of applicationa 50% 80%
Certification re-audits conducted within 6 months of due date 17% 9%
  1. The improvement in processing times for initial audits was the outcome of process improvement resulting in more timely internal notification of required audits, and more up to date status of manufacturers due to the MDSAP.

7. Exports

12 September 2017

Processing time is defined as the number of working days from the acceptance of the application, including payment, until formal notification of decision. Under the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990, working days exclude public holidays and weekends. Processing time excludes time where we were unable to progress the application until the sponsor provided additional information unless otherwise specified.

7.1. Export only medicines

The target timeframe for processing of export only medicine applications and variations is 31 working days.

Table 39 Approval times for export only medicines
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
New applications
Mean TGA processing time (days) 21 25
Median TGA processing time (days) 20 26
Percentage processed within target processing time 98% 75%
Variations
Mean TGA processing time (days) 18 22
Median TGA processing time (days) 16 22
Percentage processed within target processing time 100% 89%
Table 40 Applications for new and variations to export only medicines
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Export only applications
Applications received 241 242
Applications awaiting response from sponsor 20 9
Applications completed
Approved 221 207
Withdrawn 10 17
Total completed 231 224

7.2. Export certifications for medicines

The target processing time for applications for an export certificate for a medicine is 15 working days.

Table 41 Export certification applications and processing times
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Applications received 2,124 1,582
Applications completed
Approved 2,127 1,413
Withdrawn 18 3
Total completed 2,145 1,416
Processing times
Mean TGA processing time (days) 12 12
Median TGA processing time (days) 12 13
Percentage processed within target timea 98% 99%
  1. We aim to have 100% of applications processed within the target timeframe.

7.3. Export certification assessment for medical devices

The target processing time for applications for an export certificate for a medical device is 5 working days.

Table 42 Medical device applications and processing times for export certification assessments
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Applications received 496 553
Applications completed
Export certificates issued 483 504
Applications withdrawn 3 10
Total completed 486 514
Processing time
Mean TGA processing time (days) 4 4.5
Median TGA processing time (days) 5 4
Percentage processed within target timea 96% 83%
  1. We aim to have at least 90% of applications processed within the target timeframe.

7.4. Blood permits for export

We issue permits to export human blood and its fractions (products derived from human blood) on receiving written applications from medical professionals, hospitals and bone banks. Most often these professionals or health organisations approach the Australian Red Cross Blood Service which then applies for the permit on their behalf. Very rarely an individual citizen may also apply with reference to his/her requirement, for example, a patient travelling overseas with Biostate® injections, which is a blood fraction and requires a permit to take it out of Australia.

In addition to issuing individual permits, the TGA also issues annual permits. Applications for these permits are submitted by commercial (pharmaceutical companies) or government organisations (such as the Australian Defence Force). The permits cover one year's worth of anticipated export supplies for these organisations.

Figure 7 Number of blood permits processed

Jul 15 - Jun 16: Bone and Tissues 50, Blood and fractions 144, Annual blood permits 33; Jul 16 - Jun 17: Bone and Tissues 46, Blood and fractions 104, Annual blood permits 46
Figure 7 Number of blood permits processed
Permit type Jul 15 - Jun 16 Jul 16 - Jun 17
Bone and tissues 50 46
Blood and fractions 144 104
Annual blood permits 33 46

8. Access to unapproved therapeutic goods

12 September 2017

8.1. Special Access Scheme

The SAS refers to arrangements which provide for the import and/or supply of an unapproved therapeutic good for a single patient, on a case by case basis. For this reporting period, two pathways existed under the scheme and they are categorised as follows:

  • Category A is a notification pathway which can only be accessed by medical practitioners for patients who are seriously ill with a condition from which death is reasonably likely to occur within a matter of months, or from which premature death is reasonably likely to occur in the absence of early treatment.
  • Category B is an application pathway which can be accessed by health practitioners for patients that do not fit the Category A definition. An approval letter from TGA is required before the goods may be accessed.

Any unapproved therapeutic good can potentially be supplied via the SAS except for drugs of abuse in Schedule 9 of the Poisons Standard (where the manufacture, possession, sale or use is prohibited by State or Territory law) which cannot be accessed through the SAS Category A process.

Table 43 SAS medicine notifications and applications
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Category A notifications
Total Category A notifications 38,806 46,678
Category B applications
Approved 19,307 21,609
Cancelled 312 355
Rejected 51 21
Pending at end of reporting period 443 418
Total Category B applications 20,113 22,403
Table 44 SAS device notifications and applications
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Category A notifications
Total 3,922 4,914
Category B applications
Approved 2,081 2,113
Cancelled 116 96
Rejected 20 1
Pending at end of reporting period 16 135
Total 2,233 2,345
Table 45 SAS biological notifications and applications
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Category A notifications
Total 44 47
Category B applications
Approved 3,171 2,024
Cancelled 25 89
Rejected 0 0
Pending at end of reporting period 35 44
Total 3,231 2,157

8.2. Clinical trials

The Clinical Trial Notifications (CTN) scheme provides an avenue through which unapproved therapeutic goods may be lawfully supplied for use solely for experimental purposes in humans. Unapproved therapeutic goods can include biologicals, devices or medicines or a combination of any of the three types of goods.

Table 46 Number of notifications for new clinical trials involving unapproved therapeutic goods received by therapeutic good type
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Therapeutic good type
Medicine 458 409
Devicea 155 152
Biological 21 10
Medicine and device 288 290
Device and biological 6 1
Medicine and biological 14 6
Medicine, device and biological 7 0
Total 949 868
  1. 'Device' includes both medical device and therapeutic device categories.
Table 47 Number of new clinical trial notifications involving unapproved therapeutic goods received by phase
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Clinical trial type
Phase 1 205 191
Phase 2 217 189
Phase 3 301 257
Phase 4 146 89
Devicea N/A 118
Bioavailability/equivalence 39 24
None specifiedb 134 N/A
  1. In previous reports 'Device' was not available as a phase category under the previous CTN system.
  2. It is now always possible to specify phase and the 'None specified' category will no longer be used.
Table 48 Number of notifications for new clinical trials and variations to previously notified clinical trials, including non-fee attracting variations, involving unapproved therapeutic goods received by therapeutic good type
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Therapeutic good type
Medicine 1,090 1,230
Devicea 249 266
Biological 31 12
Medicine and device 1,072 1,417
Device and biological 20 2
Medicine and biological 37 10
Medicine, device and biological 27 1
Total 2,526 2,938
  1. Device includes both medical device and therapeutic device categories.

The online system captures the actual number of notifications received for new clinical trials and requests to change significant details to clinical trials already notified. A variation to a previously notified clinical trial may include an addition of a site(s), change to a therapeutic good, or change in principal investigator etc.

Table 49 Number of new clinical trials and variationsa to previously notified clinical trials involving unapproved therapeutic goods received by phase
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Phases
Phase 1 415 459
Phase 2 598 648
Phase 3 1,177 1,358
Phase 4 274 246
Deviceb N/A 194
Bioavailability/equivalence 46 33
None specifiedc 217 N/A
  1. A variation may include any change to a previously notified clinical trial such as an additional site, change to a therapeutic good, or change in principal investigator.
  2. In previous reports 'Device' was not available as a phase category under the previous CTN system.
  3. It is now always possible to specify phase and the 'None specified' category will no longer be used.

8.3. Authorised Prescribers

The Authorised Prescriber Scheme allows approved medical practitioners authority to prescribe a specified unapproved therapeutic good(s) to patients who are identified by their medical condition. If a medical practitioner becomes an Authorised Prescriber they may prescribe the product to patients in their immediate care, within the indication specified, without seeking further approval from the TGA.

Table 50 Authorised Prescriber approvals for medicines, medical devices and biologicals
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Approvals by therapeutic good type
Number of approvals for medicines 661 764
Number of approvals for medical devices 238 304
Number of approvals for biologicals 0 1

9. Medicines and biologicals manufacturing

12 September 2017

9.1. Manufacturing licences issued to Australian manufacturers

Table 51 Status of manufacturing licence applications
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Licence status (Australia)
New licences granted 15 9
Withdrawn application 11 10
Revoked licences - at request of licence holder 42 19
Revoked licences - TGA 0 1
Suspended - at request of licence holder 3 1
Suspended - TGA 0 0

As at 30 June 2017, there were 247 Australian companies holding manufacturing licences covering 387 sites.

Table 52 Outcomes of inspections of Australian manufacturers
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Inspection status (Australia)
Number of inspections conducted 220 185
Satisfactory compliance (of completed inspections) 81% 88%
Marginal compliance (of completed inspections) 18% 10%
Unacceptable (of completed inspections) 1% 2%
Close-out in progress 15% 18%
Processing time
Initial inspections conducted within 3 months of application 68% 85%
Re-inspections conducted within 6 months of due date 54% 61%

The 2016-17 data excludes inspections conducted for Australian medical devices manufacturers. This information is now reported under medical devices as Quality Management System (QMS) audits of Australian manufacturers.

The number of initial inspections conducted within 3 months of application improved in 2016-17 due to improved internal processes and focused efforts on ensuring initial inspections were conducted in a timely manner.

9.2. Approval (certification) of overseas manufacturers

Table 53 Manufacturing certification application by status (overseas)
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Applications (overseas)
New applications received 38 46
Re-inspection applications 52 38
Applications completed
Certified 44 33
Rejected 28 59
Total completed 72 92

As at 30 June 2017, there were 206 overseas manufacturers covering 207 manufacturing sites that were subject to TGA inspection and approximately 2,700 overseas manufacturing sites that relied on evidence from recognised regulators.

Table 54 Outcomes of inspections of overseas manufacturers
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Inspection status (overseas)
Number of inspections conducted 76 58
Satisfactory compliance (of completed inspections) 95% 94%
Marginal compliance (of completed inspections) 4% 6%
Unacceptable (of completed inspections) 1% 0%
Close-out in progress 18% 10%
Processing time
Initial certification inspections conducted within 6 months of application 40% 64%
Certification re-inspections conducted within 6 months of due date 75% 66%

The 2016-17 data excludes inspections conducted for overseas medical devices manufacturers. This information is now reported under medical devices as QMS audits of overseas manufacturers.

The number of initial overseas inspections conducted within six months of application improved in 2016-17 due to improved internal processes and focused efforts on ensuring initial inspections were conducted in a timely manner.

9.3. Good Manufacturing Practice clearances

GMP clearance is required for all medicines (unless exempt) supplied in Australia. This includes products supplied to sponsors by overseas manufacturers.

Table 55 GMP clearance application status
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Applications received 5,657 6,506
Applications completed
Approved 5,132 5,067
Rejected 263 642
Total completed 5,395 5,709

10. Recalls

12 September 2017

10.1. Medicine recalls

Table 56 Medicine recalls by reason for recall
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Reason for recall
Adverse reactions 0 1
Foreign matter 5 3
Illegal supply 1 0
Impurity and degradation 6 3
Labelling and packaging 18
Micro-organisms 4 2
pH 0 0
Potency 5 3
Sterility 1 0
Othera 17 13
Total 57 32
  1. 'Other' includes dissolution, physical defects, observed differences, variable content, diagnostic inaccuracy and wrong product, disintegration/dissolution, GMP non-compliance and transport/storage.

10.2. Medical device recalls

Table 57 Medical device (including IVDs) recalls by reason for recall
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Reason for recall
Adverse incidents 6 7
Diagnostic inaccuracy 82 105
Electrical defect 49 28
Illegal supply 0 2
Labelling and packaging 119 89
Mechanical and physical defects 173 169
Software defects 135 109
Sterility 3 14
Othera 44 75
Total 611 598
  1. 'Other' includes bioavailability, disintegration/dissolution, microbial contamination, variable content, foreign matter, impurity, wrong product, therapeutic inefficiency and observed differences.

10.3. Biological recalls

Table 58 Biological recalls
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Recalls to hospital level 0 2

11. Laboratory testing

12 September 2017

The Laboratories Branch conducts post-market monitoring and compliance testing, investigations and reviews, as well as market authorisation assessment of therapeutic goods.

The Laboratories Branch identifies and prioritises therapeutic goods for testing to fulfil the regulatory compliance and monitoring requirements of the TGA, and the transparency and accountability requirements of government. The testing program also provides flexibility and capacity to provide testing for investigations into problem reports, complaints and urgent public health concerns.

A risk management approach is used, which is consistent with ISO 31000: Risk Management principals and guidelines, to identify products with a higher risk of not complying with the required quality standards. This risk based, targeted approach to testing is reflected in the failure rates reported in the table below.

The Database of TGA Laboratory Testing Results was launched in the first half of 2017 to provide information to the public about the 2000-plus samples we test each year, and to increase understanding of how our testing program contributes to the regulation of therapeutic goods. Consumers and health professionals can now clearly see which products have been tested by the TGA, whether they passed or failed, and for those that did fail what regulatory action was taken. Providing this information has been an important enhancement to the transparency of the Government's regulatory processes and the vital role of the TGA in ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines and medical devices for Australian consumers.

Table 59 Samples and products tested by type of therapeutic good and percentage which failed
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Therapeutic good type
Prescription medicines Total 941 1,168
% fail 0.5 0.9
OTC medicines Total 47 51
% fail 19.1 13.7
Complementary medicines Total 108 87
% fail 20.4 13.8
Medical devices Total 114 168
% fail 29.8 31
Contracta Total 19 32
% fail 36.8 62.5
Unregisteredb Total 467 220
% fail 76.2 63.6
Total samples (excluding AHQ samples) 1,696 1,726
Total samplesc 2,202 2,328
Percentage fail 25.50% 14%
Total number of products testedd 761 590
  1. Performed on request for overseas regulators or aid agencies and encompasses medicines and medical devices.
  2. Unregistered refers to products that meet the definition of therapeutic goods but are not included on the ARTG or otherwise specifically exempted from this requirement in the legislation. This often includes adulterated complementary medicines or counterfeit products.
  3. Includes accreditation, harmonisation and quality control (AHQ) samples.
  4. The TGA may test a number of samples of each product per reporting period.
Table 60 Samples that failed laboratory testing by reason for July 2016 to June 2017
  Medical devices OTC medicines Prescription medicines Unregistered products Complementary medicines Total
Reasons
Contamination 4 4 2 0 2 12
Formulation 0 0 4 136 6 146
Label and packaging deficiencies 8 2 0 0 0 10
Performance 23 1 4 0 3 31
Physical or mechanical properties 17 0 0 3 0 20
Unregistered 0 0 0 1 1 2
Total 52 7 10 140 12 221
Table 61 Batch release and export certification
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Batch releases and certifications
Batch releasea 401 453
Export certificationb 59 75
  1. Evaluation of batch release documentation for vaccines, biotechnology and blood products.
  2. Certification of biological products being exported from Australian manufacturers to overseas markets.

The Laboratories Branch provides WHO-approved certificates for batches of biological products to be exported by Australian manufacturers to overseas markets. The number of certificates provided by the Laboratories Branch therefore depends on the number of requests received.

Table 62 Target timeframes in working days for laboratory testing by priority and testing type
Priority of testing Biochemical/chemical testing Microbiological testing Medical device testing
Urgent 20 (95% of target times to be met) 40 (95% of target times to be met) 20 (95% of target times to be met)
Priority 40 (80% of target times to be met) 50 (80% of target times to be met) 40 (80% of target times to be met)
Routine 50 50 50

Testing on products linked to potential public safety concerns are assigned to the 'Urgent' testing category. Urgent testing may impact on the timeframes for priority and routing testing.

Priority is given to testing of products with the highest risk of a quality deficiency.

Compliance against these timeframes is outlined in the table below.

Table 63 Compliance with testing timeframes for July 2016 to June 2017
  Priority Total Percentage
Therapeutic good type
Medical devices Routine 128 90%
Priority 33 94%
Urgent 7 43%
OTC medicines Routine 34 56%
Priority 8 100%
Urgent 9 100%
Prescription medicines Routine 141 63%
Priority 9 78%
Urgent 6 83%
Complementary medicines Routine 56 66%
Priority 31 68%
Urgent 0 N/A
Unregistered products Routine 3 100%
Priority 213 95%
Urgent 4 100%

Low numbers of samples within categories may affect compliance percentages.

Samples involving complex biological assays are excluded from the target turnaround timeframes.

12. Regulatory compliance

12 September 2017

The TGA Regulatory Investigations and Enforcement Unit conducts compliance and enforcement activities against a risk based compliance framework. Using principles of responsive regulation, a range of tools are utilised including encouragement and guidance to comply, restrictions or warnings, suspensions or sanctions and cancellations. At the apex, activities including investigations into illegal import or manufacture of unapproved and counterfeit therapeutic goods can result in criminal or civil court action. All compliance activities have the intended purpose of protecting public health.

Table 64 Regulatory compliance investigations by final action taken
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Investigation in progress 361 1,136
Completed investigations
Warned (including destruction) 946 1,973
No offence detected 185 110
Goods released under Personal Import Scheme 519 691
Referred to another agency or department outside Health 28 21
Referred to another branch within the TGA 10 13
Filed for intelligence purposes 55 45
Finalised in a linked file 11 25
Import treated as abandoned goods by Customs 3 8
Recall of goods 2 1
Matters referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions 1 0
Total completed 1,760 2,887
Goods (units) seized and destroyed at the point of importationa N/A 884,081
  1. Due to a change in reporting function, the number of units can now be captured. Units refers to single dosage unit e.g. 1 tablet, 1 capsule, 1 tub of powder or single device.
Table 65 Types of products investigateda
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Therapeutic good type
Complementary medicines 463 599
Prescription medicines 1,802 4,367
Medical devices 98 166
Homoeopathic medicines 4 36
OTC medicines 45 54
Biological products 48 28
Other 66 119
Total 2,526 5,369
  1. Regulatory compliance investigations may include more than one type of product.
Table 66 Regulatory compliance investigations by special interest categories
  2015-16 2016-17
July to June
Compliance investigation category
Unapproved product 2,110 4,855
Counterfeit product 320 326
Parallel import/export 9 28
Manufacture without licence 1 8
Advertising offence 17 19
Traditional Chinese medicines 7 15
Othera 7 33
Total 2,471 5,284
  1. Products that fall outside the remit of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, for example food products.
Table 67 Investigations by complainant type and state/territory for July 2016 to June 2017
Origin ACT NSW NT QLD SA VIC WA TAS OtheraTotal
Complaints resolution 0 9 0 2 0 4 2 0 2 19
Customs 4 2,373 37 136 12 412 190 0 5 3,169
External agency 5 7 0 5 2 6 1 0 4 30
General public 4 13 0 5 0 17 3 0 136 178
Patient/ practitioner 0 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 2 7
Sponsor/client 2 9 0 2 1 6 2 0 16 38
TGA internal 51 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 52
Total 66 2413 37 151 16 447 198 0 165 3,493
  1. Other includes investigations of anonymous (unknown) origin.

Version history

12 September 2017
Version history
Version Description of change Author Effective date
V1.0 Original publication Reporting and Collaboration Services 12/09/2017