Statistical analysis of bioequivalence studies
The cost of healthcare has become generally expensive the world over, of which the greater part of the money is spent buying drugs. In order to reduce the cost of drugs, drug manufacturers came up with the idea of manufacturing generic drugs, which cost less as compared to brand name drugs. The challenge which arose was how safe, effective and efficient the generic drugs are compared to the brand name drugs, if people were to buy them. As a consequence of this challenge, bioequivalence studies evolved, being statistical procedures for comparing whether the generic and brand name drugs are similar in treating patients for various diseases. This study was undertaken to show the existence of bioequivalence in drugs. Bioavailability is considered in generic drugs to ensure that it is more or less the same as that of the original drugs by using statistical tests. The United States of America’s Food and Agricultural Department took a lead in the research on coming up with statistical methods for certifying generic drugs as bioequivalent to brand name drugs. Pharmacokinetic parameters are obtained from blood samples after dosing study subjects with generic and brand name drugs. The design for analysis in this research report will be a 2 2 crossover design. Average, population and individual bioequivalence is checked from pharmacokinetic parameters to ascertain as to whether drugs are bioequivalent or not. Statistical procedures used include confidence intervals, interval hypothesis tests using parametric as well as nonparametric statistical methods. On presenting results to conclude that drugs are bioequivalent or not, in addition to hypothesis tests and confidence intervals, which indicates whether there is a difference or not, effect sizes will also be reported. If ever there is a difference between generic and brand name drugs, effect sizes then quantify the magnitude of the difference. KEY WORDS: bioequivalence, bioavailability, generic (test) drugs, brand name (reference) drugs, average bioequivalence, population bioequivalence, individual bioequivalence, pharmacokinetic parameters, therapeutic window, pharmaceutical equivalence, confidence intervals, hypothesis tests, effect sizes.
A Research Report submitted to the Faculty of Science in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science. 26 October 2016.
Nyathi, Mavutho (2016) Statistical analysis of bioequivalence studies, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/handle/10539/21660>