Regulatory Considerations for Approval of Generic Inhalation Drug Products in the US, EU, Brazil, China, and India

Publication: AAPS J
Division: Simulations Plus


This article describes regulatory approaches for approval of “generic” orally inhaled drug products (OIDPs) in the United States, European Union, Brazil, China and India. While registration of a generic OIDP in any given market may require some documentation of the formulation and device similarity to the “original” product as well as comparative testing of in vitro characteristics and in vivo performance, the specific documentation approaches, tests and acceptance criteria vary by the country. This divergence is due to several factors, including unique cultural, historical, legal and economic circumstances of each region; the diverse healthcare and regulatory systems; the different definitions of key terms such as “generic” and “reference” drug; the acknowledged absence of in vitro in vivo correlations for OIDPs; and the scientific and statistical issues related to OIDP testing (such as how best to account for the batch-to-batch variability of the Reference product, whether to use average bioequivalence or population bioequivalence in the statistical analysis of results, whether to use healthy volunteers or patients for pharmacokinetic studies, and which pharmacodynamic or clinical end-points should be used). As a result of this discrepancy, there are ample opportunities for the regulatory and scientific communities around the world to collaborate in developing more consistent, better aligned, science-based approaches. Moving in that direction will require both further research and further open discussion of the pros and cons of various approaches.