Clinically Relevant Test Methods to Establish In Vitro Equivalence for Spacers and Valved Holding Chambers Used with Pressurized Metered Dose Inhalers (pMDIs) Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Regulatory guidance in Canada and Europe recommends that the manufacturer of an inhaled drug product delivered by pressurized metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) identify a spacer (S) or valved holding chamber (VHC) to be used with their designated product. It therefore becomes necessary to include the S/VHC in the process of establishing bioequivalence (BE) to the reference pMDI product for both new-entry generic and subsequent market entry products (SMEPs). S/VHCs substantially modify the aerodynamic particle size distribution (APSD) of the inhaled medication, and potentially the spatial distribution of the mass of active pharmaceutical ingredient(s) [API(s)] depositing in the respiratory tract. The processes whereby S/VHCs can influence BE outcomes are examined, and the inadequacy of compendial in vitro methods to provide pertinent information to assess BE for the pMDI+VHC combination is highlighted. A three-part strategy is proposed whereby in vitro testing for BE can simulate more clinically-relevant conditions than in the current compendial procedures: 1. The inclusion of a short delay between inhaler actuation and sampling onset is appropriate when determining APSD at flow rate(s) suitable for the intended patient population; 2. Assessment of total emitted mass ex S/VHC by simulating tidal breathing pattern(s) appropriate for intended use; 3. Incorporation of appropriate face model(s), representative of the intended patient age range(s), into test procedures for S/VHCs with facemask, enabling clinically-appropriate dead space and fit-to-face to be simulated. Although the compendial authorities have been slow to recognize the need for such in vitro testing, a Canadian standard provides direction for implementing most proposals, which should result in better performance predictions and more appropriate clinical outcomes, highlighting similarities and differences between reference and test products.

publication date

  • August 2012