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Has the Time Come to Employ Population and Individual Bioequivalence for the Evaluation of Generics?

[ Vol. 21 , Issue. 2 ]


Francis Micheal*, Mohanlal Sayana, Rajendra Prasad and Balamurali Musuvathi Motilal   Pages 112 - 125 ( 14 )


Background: Bioequivalence studies are a vital part of drug development. The average bioequivalence approach is the standard method of assessment to conclude whether the generic product is bioequivalent to the innovator product. Of late, debates are on whether the average bioequivalence approach adequately addresses drug interchangeability as it considers only population mean for the evaluation especially when highly variable drug products and narrow therapeutic index drugs are dealt with. Hence, the alternative approaches like population bioequivalence and individual bioequivalence assessment approaches emerge as they consider inter/intra-subject variance and subject- by-formulation variance along with population mean.

Objectives: The objective of the study was to apply different bioequivalence assessment approaches in a replicate bioequivalence study to evaluate the drug interchangeability.

Methods: This was an open-label, single-dose, randomized, balanced, two-treatment, three-period, three-sequence, partial replicate crossover bioequivalence study of omeprazole enteric-coated tablet 20 mg conducted on 48 normal healthy subjects under fed conditions. The plasma concentration of omeprazole was analyzed by a validated bioanalytical method to determine the pharmacokinetic and statistical parameters to assess average bioequivalence, population bioequivalence, and individual bioequivalence.

Results: In this study, test formulation was shown to be bio-inequivalent to the reference formulation by average bioequivalence, population bioequivalence, and individual bioequivalence approaches.

Conclusion: The outcome of the evaluation clearly states that the bioequivalence outcome of all these approaches are the same. Obviously, it does not mean that these three approaches provide the same outcome though the consideration of variances varies. Certainly, population bioequivalence and individual bioequivalence approach will be more accurate for the assessment of drug interchangeability.


Average bioequivalence, population bioequivalence, individual bioequivalence, prescribability, switchability, 95% upper confidence bound, omeprazole, drug interchangeability.


Department of Chemistry, School of Advanced Sciences, VIT University, Vellore, Tamilnadu 632014, Department of Pharmacokinetic and Drug Metabolism, Strides Pharma Science Limited, Bangalore, Karnataka 560076, Department of Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, Jeevan Scientific Technology Limited, Hyderabad, Telangana 500008, Department of Chemistry, School of Advanced Sciences, VIT University, Vellore, Tamilnadu 632014

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