With the new year beginning, it may be worth reviewing whether the drugs you take regularly will go generic in the coming year. “Going generic” refers to when the patent protection runs out on a new drug and other pharmaceutical manufacturers are allowed to produce it. This brings previously high drug prices down to a fraction of the previous costs. Some drugs can even be brought to as low a price as $4 per 30 day supply. Also review our previous post, “Generic Vs. Brand Name Drugs: What Is The Difference?” for more information about the minimal difference between generic and brand name drugs.
Typically, patent protection on new prescription drugs lasts for 20 years. However, this 20 year period has to include the time needed to bring the drug to market which can be 6-7 years. Recently, some very popular brand name drugs’ patent protection has expired and their generics have come onto the market. These include: Cymbalta, Lipitor and Viagra. All of these drugs made their respective manufacturers billions of revenue per year prior to the patent protection expiring. Now these drugs can be purchased at a heavily discounted price (e.g. duloxetine, Cymbalta generic.)
In 2014, numerous very popular prescriptions will be losing their patent protection. Review the list of drugs below and be on the lookout for additional drugs going generic in the upcoming years. Other blockbuster drugs are losing their patent protection in 2015 and 2016.
Drugs Losing Patent Protection in 2014
- Nexium – for the treatment of heartburn and acid reflux
- Celebrex - for the management of acute pain and the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
- Symbicort – for the treatment of asthma and COPD
- Restasis - for the treatment of chronic dry eyes
- Lunesta – for the treatment of insomnia
- Copaxone – for the management and treatment of multiple sclerosis
- Evista – for the treatment of osteoporosis and for the reduction of breast cancer risk
- Exforge – for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Lumigan – for the treatment of open angle glaucoma
- Asacol HD – for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis
- Loestrin 24 Fe – for the use of oral contraception
- Actonel - for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis
- Sandostatin LAR - for the treatment of acromegaly syndrome
Although the drugs above are scheduled to come off of patent protection, in some cases, extensions can be granted which delay generic production. These extensions can last 6 months or longer. Additionally, in some cases other manufacturers are granted a period of first generic exclusivity which allows only one manufacturer to produce the generic version of a brand-name drug. The first generic, in these cases, often does not often offer significant savings off the price of the brand-name drug.
If your prescriptions are not going generic this year, consider using our free-to-use prescription discounts to save off of the price of both brand name and generic drugs. Search our database of discounted prescriptions to find and save on your prescriptions.