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J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2012 Aug;25(4):243-7. doi: 10.1089/jamp.2012.0970.

The US and EU regulatory landscapes for locally acting generic/hybrid inhalation products intended for treatment of asthma and COPD.

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Fuglsang Pharma, 07407 Rudolstadt, Germany.


This is a review of the current regulatory requirements associated with development and submission of abridged dossiers for locally acting inhalation drugs intended for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The current EU law does not provide for submission of such products as generics due to the definition of bioequivalence and bioavailability; instead they must be submitted as hybrids. A guideline from 2009 is available that suggests a stepwise approach toward approval. An applicant should first consider the degree of in vitro match with the reference product; provided that the match is extensive, approval may be granted. If the in vitro match cannot be proven, the next step is comparison of lung deposition and systemic exposure. If this match is proven, approval may be granted; otherwise, the final step is pharmacodynamic evaluation. In the United States, submission as a generic is possible, but only a single specific guidance document from 1989 is in force. It describes in vitro requirements for comparison of albuterol and metaproterenol pressurized metered dose inhalers. Applicants are encouraged to seek dialogue with regulators prior to and during development. Although parallel scientific advice procedures have been established between the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, the two authorities give independent and individual advice.

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