TGA well trusted by stakeholders: survey

Pharmacist using computer

But pharmacists have “fluctuating confidence” in the regulatory body, according to survey results

An online survey conducted by the TGA for 2017 has found variation in confidence in the TGA across a range of groups.

Of a total 2,535 responses received, respondents came from a broad range of groupings including the medical products industry, health professionals, academics, government, community, industry association representatives and advocates.

Trust placed in the TGA by its core stakeholder group represents a “key strength” in the organisation, it says.

According to the survey results, nearly nine in 10 stakeholders trust the TGA to perform its role ethically and with integrity.

This level of trust was perceived to carry across to its international reputation as well.

Two measures focusing on risk revealed that around 70% of respondents feel the TGA is balancing risks appropriately and managing risks proportionately.

However the TGA says there is an opportunity to address the concerns of the more than one in 10 stakeholders who feel that this is not the case.

Confidence in the TGA received at or above 70% (high confidence) in its role Providing safeguards for Australians and in Trustworthiness.

But confidence fell below 60% for the TGA in the following measures: Technical competence, Well thought out decisions, Scientifically valid decisions and Fairness.

There were generally higher confidence levels within the community and medical products industry groupings, and strong levels of confidence among medical professionals.

However the data showed “fluctuating confidence” among the pharmacists, nurses and dental professionals surveyed.

Engagement and communication strategies are needed to understand and address the concerns of key stakeholder groups, “most notably medical products industry, health professional and government groups”, the TGA recommends.

According to the data, the TGA’s website and business services portal are the key channels employed by stakeholders to access information.

A priority is to ensure these resources are “well targeted, navigable, logical and clear”, says the TGA.

Other commonly utilised information channels include email subscriptions, RSS feed, roadshows, information sessions and conference booths.

Medicines shortage alerts, TGA AusPAR, Prescription medicine, NCE registrations and SME assist all showed lower usefulness outcomes.

The TGA says these resources generally showed higher levels of ‘not applicable’ ratings and marked variations across stakeholder groups, highlighted the targeted nature of the services.

“Ongoing efforts to clearly understand and meet the communication needs of each stakeholder group are warranted,” it says.

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