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Clinical Equivalence between Generic Versus Branded Antibiotics: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Antibiotics 2023 May 22
Regulatory authorities authorize the clinical use of generic drugs (GD) based on bioequivalence studies, which consist of the evaluation of pharmacokinetics after a single dose in vitro or in healthy individuals. There are few data on clinical equivalence between generic and branded antibiotics. Our aim was to synthesize and analyze the available evidence on the clinical efficacy and safety of generic antibiotics compared to their original formulations. A systematic review was performed on Medline ( PubMed ) and Embase and validated through Epistemonikos and Google Scholar . The last search was conducted on 30 June 2022. Meta-analyses of clinical cure and mortality outcomes were performed. One randomized clinical trial (RCT) and 10 non-randomized intervention studies were included. No differences in clinical cure were observed between groups in the meta-analysis (OR = 0.89, 95% CI [0.61-1.28]; I2 = 70%, p = 0.005). No difference was observed between groups when considering the use of carbapenems for overall mortality (OR = 0.99, 95% CI [0.63-1.55]; I2 = 78%) or death associated with infections (OR = 0.79, 95% CI [0.48-1.29], I2 = 67%). Most of the studies were observational, and the duration of follow-up, the characteristics of the participants, and the sites of infections were heterogeneous. Due to the uncertainty of the evidence, it is not possible to contraindicate the use of generics, which is an important strategy to expand access.

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