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Pharm Stat. 2012 Jan-Feb;11(1):1-7. doi: 10.1002/pst.498. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Viewpoint: observations on scaled average bioequivalence.

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  • 1Pfizer Vaccine Clinical Research, Collegeville, PA, USA. scott.patterson@pfizer.com


The two one-sided test procedure (TOST) has been used for average bioequivalence testing since 1992 and is required when marketing new formulations of an approved drug. TOST is known to require comparatively large numbers of subjects to demonstrate bioequivalence for highly variable drugs, defined as those drugs having intra-subject coefficients of variation greater than 30%. However, TOST has been shown to protect public health when multiple generic formulations enter the marketplace following patent expiration. Recently, scaled average bioequivalence (SABE) has been proposed as an alternative statistical analysis procedure for such products by multiple regulatory agencies. SABE testing requires that a three-period partial replicate cross-over or full replicate cross-over design be used. Following a brief summary of SABE analysis methods applied to existing data, we will consider three statistical ramifications of the proposed additional decision rules and the potential impact of implementation of scaled average bioequivalence in the marketplace using simulation. It is found that a constraint being applied is biased, that bias may also result from the common problem of missing data and that the SABE methods allow for much greater changes in exposure when generic-generic switching occurs in the marketplace.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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