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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Mar;97(3):286-91. doi: 10.1002/cpt.28. Epub 2014 Dec 15.

Novel bioequivalence approach for narrow therapeutic index drugs.

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Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.


Narrow therapeutic index drugs are defined as those drugs where small differences in dose or blood concentration may lead to serious therapeutic failures and/or adverse drug reactions that are life-threatening or result in persistent or significant disability or incapacity. The US Food and Drug Administration proposes that the bioequivalence of narrow therapeutic index drugs be determined using a scaling approach with a four-way, fully replicated, crossover design study in healthy subjects that permits the simultaneous equivalence comparison of the mean and within-subject variability of the test and reference products. The proposed bioequivalence limits for narrow therapeutic index drugs of 90.00%-111.11% would be scaled based on the within-subject variability of the reference product. The proposed study design and data analysis should provide greater assurance of therapeutic equivalence of narrow therapeutic index drug products.

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