Check Your Knowledge
Check out the article below for a non-technical overview of non-inferiority testing:
There are situations where we do not expect a new treatment to be more effective than current practice. However, if the new treatment is in some sense "just as good as" the current treatment, and provides other benefits, it may be a better choice.
A study published in 2008 investigated whether a new method of administrating yellow fever vaccine utilizing reduced vaccine levels could be as efficacious as current methods. This was in response to a limited supply of the vaccine and the need to extend the current supply to more individuals.
The investigators likely did not expect that this reduced level of vaccine would be better (the usual superiority hypothesis), but instead might be "as good as". The investigators observed that "intradermal administration of one fifth of the amount of yellow fever vaccine administered subcutaneously results in protective seroimmunity in all volunteers".