A Survey of the Regulatory Requirements for the Acceptance of Foreign Comparator Products by Participating Regulators and Organizations of the International Generic Drug Regulators Programme

Publication: J Pharm Pharm Sci
Division: Simulations Plus


The acceptance of foreign comparator products is the most limiting factor for the development and regulatory assessment of generic medicines marketed globally. Bioequivalence studies have to be repeated with the local comparator products of each jurisdiction because it is unknown if the comparators of the different countries are the same product, with the consequent duplication of efforts by regulators and industry alike. The regulatory requirements on the acceptability of foreign comparator products of oral dosage forms differ between countries participating in the Bioequivalence Working Group for Generics of the International Pharmaceutical Regulators Programme. Brazil, Colombia, the European Union member States, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United States only accept bioequivalence studies with their local comparator. In contrast, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Taiwan accept studies with foreign comparators under certain conditions. Canada limits its use to highly soluble drugs with a wide therapeutic range in immediate release products. Australia requires a comparison of the quantitative composition. In contrast, there are fewer restrictions on the acceptance of foreign comparators in New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Taiwan. For the WHO Prequalification of Medicines and for developing generics of the essential medicines the WHO lists comparators from different countries. In conclusion, there is currently no consensus amongst regulators on the acceptability of foreign comparator products.

By Alfredo Garcia Arieta, Craig Simon, Gustavo Mendes Lima Santos, Iván Omar Calderón Lojero, Zulema Rodríguez Martínez, Clare Rodrigues, Sang Aeh Park, Ji Myoung Kim, Ryosuke Kuribayashi, Yusuke Okada, Arno Nolting, Chantal Pfäffli, Wen-Yi Hung, Christopher Crane, April C Braddy, Joy Van Oudtshoorn, Diego Gutierrez Triana, & Mitch Clarke