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Futility Rules in Bioequivalence Trials with Sequential Designs

Authors
  • Fuglsang, Anders1
  • 1 Fuglsang Pharma, Hiort Lorenzens Vej 6C, Haderslev, 6100, Denmark , Haderslev (Denmark)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The AAPS Journal
Publisher
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Publication Date
Nov 12, 2013
Volume
16
Issue
1
Pages
79–82
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1208/s12248-013-9540-0
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Health Canada, the US Food and Drug Administration, as well as the European Medicines Agency consider sequential designs acceptable for bioequivalence studies as long as the type I error is controlled at 5%. The EU guideline explicitly asks for specification of stopping rules, so the goal of this work is to investigate how stopping rules may affect type I errors and power for recently published sequential bioequivalence trial designs. Using extensive trial simulations, five different futility rules were evaluated for their effect on type I error rates and power in two-stage scenarios. Under some circumstances, notably low sample size in stage 1 and/or high variability power may be very severely affected by the stopping rules, whereas type I error rates appear less affected. Because applicants may initiate sequential studies when the variability is not known in advance, achieving sufficient power and thereby complying with certain guideline requirements may be challenging and application of optimistic futility rules could possibly be unethical. This is the first work to investigate how futility rules affect type I errors and power in sequential bioequivalence trials.

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