DrugNews Generic Watch: Ten Drugs That May Go Generic in 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Most people recognize prescription drugs only by the brand names they see in advertisements each day. However, did you know that approximately 75% of the medications taken in the United States every year are generic?

And, with increasing pressure by insurance companies and changing healthcare laws, more and more people could be forced to switch from brand name meds to cheaper generics.

Each year, many of the popular brand name drugs we trust lose their patent protection and are forced off the market by cheaper generic copies. This year, nine such drugs will face generic replacements.

Generic Drug Risks

What’s wrong with generic drugs? In a nutshell, they may have a different chemical makeup and leave patients with no legal rights in the case of injury.

While generic drugs must use the same active ingredients as their brand name counterparts, they often contain different inactive ingredients, which make up over 90% of the pill. This can cause reactions for patients used to different brand name ingredients.

Less Legal Rights With Generics

Second, and most importantly, patients taking generic drugs have little to no legal rights if they are injured. A recent Supreme Court decision ruled that, while patients can file lawsuits against name brand manufacturers for failing to warn of dangerous side effects, thay can’t do the same against generic companies due to FDA labeling restrictions.

Congress is working to remedy this law, however, in the meantime, if you suffer a serious side effect while taking a generic drug, you have far fewer legal rights than if you were taking a name brand version.

With that in mind, here are ten drugs that have or will go generic this year due to an expiring patent. If you are taking one of these, contact your doctor or insurance company to see if you can continue using the original instead of a copy.

Ten Generics to Watch for in 2014

1. Lunesta

  • Generic name: szopiclone
  • Manufacturer: Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Uses: Lunesta is prescribed for the treatment of insomnia
  • Patent expired: February 14, 2014

2. Nexium

  • Generic name: esomeprazole
  • Manufacturer: AstraZeneca
  • Uses: Nexium is prescribed to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
  • Patent expired: May, 2014

 3. Micardis

  • Generic name: telmisartan
  • Manufacturer: Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Uses: Hypertension
  • Patent expired: January 2014

4. Copaxone

  • Generic name: copaxone
  • Manufacturer: Teva Pharmaceuticals
  • Uses: prescribed for multiple sclerosis
  • Patent expired: May, 2014

5. Evista

  • Generic name: raloxifene
  • Manufacturer: Eli Lilly
  • Uses: Evista is prescribed to prevent and treat osteoporosis.
  • Patent expired: March, 2014

6. Sandostatin

  • Generic name: octreotide acetate for injectable suspension
  • Manufacturer: Novartis
  • Uses: prescribed to treat the hormonal disorder acromegaly syndrome, as well as severe diarrhea and flushing associated with metastatic cancers.
  • Patent expired: June, 2014

7. Exforge

  • Generic name: amlodipine/valsartan
  • Manufacturer: Novartis
  • Uses: prescribed for hypertension
  • Patent expires: October, 2014

8. Nasonex

  • Generic name: mometasone furoate monohydrate
  • Manufacturer: Merck
  • Uses: Respiratory allergies
  • Patent expired: January 2014

9. Symbicort

  • Generic name: budesonide/formoterol fumarate dehydrate
  • Manufacturer: AstraZeneca
  • Uses: prescribed for asthma and COPD.
  • Patent expires: October 7, 2014

10. Restasis

  • Generic name: cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion
  • Manufacturer: Allergan
  • Prescribed for: increasing tear production in patients with chronic dry eyes.
  • Patent expired: May, 2014


Source: Staton, T. Top 10 Drug Patent Losses of 2014. FiercePharma (October 28, 2013). Retrieved from http://www.fiercepharma.com/special-reports/top-10-drug-patent-losses-2014


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