Equivalence testing is growing in use in scientific research outside of its traditional role in the drug approval process. Largely due to its ease of use and recommendation from the United States Food and Drug Administration guidance, the most common statistical method for testing (bio)equivalence is the two one-sided tests procedure (TOST). Like classical point-null hypothesis testing, TOST is subject to multiplicity concerns as more comparisons are made. In this manuscript, a condition that bounds the family-wise error rate (FWER) using TOST is given. This condition then leads to a simple solution for controlling the FWER. Specifically, we demonstrate that if all pairwise comparisons of k independent groups are being evaluated for equivalence, then simply scaling the nominal Type I error rate down by (k - 1) is sufficient to maintain the family-wise error rate at the desired value or less. The resulting rule is much less conservative than the equally simple Bonferroni correction. An example of equivalence testing in a non drug-development setting is given.



Included in

Biostatistics Commons