Comparison of sample size formulae for 2x2 cross-over designs applied to bioequivalence studies
Siqueira, A., Whitehead, A., Todd, S. and Lucini, M. (2005) Comparison of sample size formulae for 2x2 cross-over designs applied to bioequivalence studies. Pharmaceutical Statistics, 4 (4). pp. 233-243. ISSN 1539-1612
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/pst.183
We consider the comparison of two formulations in terms of average bioequivalence using the 2 × 2 cross-over design. In a bioequivalence study, the primary outcome is a pharmacokinetic measure, such as the area under the plasma concentration by time curve, which is usually assumed to have a lognormal distribution. The criterion typically used for claiming bioequivalence is that the 90% confidence interval for the ratio of the means should lie within the interval (0.80, 1.25), or equivalently the 90% confidence interval for the differences in the means on the natural log scale should be within the interval (-0.2231, 0.2231). We compare the gold standard method for calculation of the sample size based on the non-central t distribution with those based on the central t and normal distributions. In practice, the differences between the various approaches are likely to be small. Further approximations to the power function are sometimes used to simplify the calculations. These approximations should be used with caution, because the sample size required for a desirable level of power might be under- or overestimated compared to the gold standard method. However, in some situations the approximate methods produce very similar sample sizes to the gold standard method. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.