Effect of inherent variability of inhalation products on impactor mass balance limits

Håkan Bagger-Jörgensen, Dennis Sandell, Hans Lundbäck, Mikael Sundahl
Journal of Aerosol Medicine: the Official Journal of the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine 2005, 18 (4): 367-78
When measuring the aerodynamic particle size distribution of pulmonary drug products, the commonly used instrument is a cascade impactor. For this type of analysis, a mass balance (MB) criterion, 85-115% of label claim, has been recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be included in the drug product specification. Using statistical model simulations, the effect of inherent product variability on the risk to fail the proposed criteria has been assessed and compared to the corresponding risk to fail the delivered dose uniformity (DDU) test. The results clearly show that the MB criterion is at odds with typical variability of orally inhaled products and seriously contributes to the risk that a typical batch would be rejected due to natural variability of the delivered dose of the product. The MB criterion is generally more difficult to comply with compared to the corresponding delivered dose uniformity (DDU) test, indicating that the proposed FDA MB specification overrules the DDU criteria as being that controlling the DDU.

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