Every year patents for brand drugs expire, paving the way for generic alternatives to enter the market and 2017 is no different.
In the United States. drug patents generally last about 20 years from the date of application. Prescription drug patents usually have an exclusivity period that can last 180 days to 7 years, depending on the type.
One of the major drug patent expirations from 2016 was Crestor. You can read more about that here.
Drug patent expirations are very complicated and can vary by region. So what are the patent expirations we can expect for 2017?
Here is a list of the major drug patent expirations for 2017.
Patent expiration date: January 4, 2017.
Macugen is made from a human antibody fragment. It keeps new blood vessels from forming under the retina. The generic name for Macugen is Pegaptanib.
Patent expiration date (pediatric exclusivity): January 10, 2017.
Mepron interferes with the reproduction of protozoa that can cause disease in the body. It is used to combat fungal infections, called Pneumocystitis Carinii, that cause pneumonia. The generic name for Mepron is Atovaquone.
Patent expiration date: February 7, 2017.
Azilect is a monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor. It increases the levels of specific chemicals in the brain. It treats Parkinson’s disease and is sometimes paired with another drug called Levodopa. The generic name for Azilect is Rasagiline.
Patent expiration date: February 19, 2017.
A topical solution, Axiron is applied under the arm as a testosterone treatment. Testosterone is a hormone that occurs naturally in males. The drug treats low or no testosterone in males. The generic name for Axiron is Testosterone Topical.
Patent expiration date (pediatric exclusivity): February 21, 2017.
Sabril is an anticonvulsant, also known as an enti-epileptic medicine. It is used in combination with other medications to treat seizers in adults and children who are at least 10-years-old. The generic name for Sabril is Vigabatrin.
Patent expiration date (pediatric exclusivity): February 23, 2017.
Tamiflu is an antiviral medicine that blocks the effects of the influenza virus in your body. It treats influenza in people 2-weeks and older who have been experiencing symptoms of the flu for two days or less. The generic name for Tamiflu is Oseltamivir.
Patent expiration date: March 18, 2017.
Carbaglu is a synthetic enzyme that occurs naturally in the liver. It is necessary for processing excess nitrogen produced when the body metabolizes proteins. The generic name for Carbaglu is Carglumic Acid.
Patent expiration date: March 25, 2017.
This synthetic protein is similar to human growth hormone. It binds to the same receptor in the body as growth hormone, and blocks the effects of growth hormone.
Patent expiration date: March 28, 2017.
Cancidas fights infections caused by fungus. It is an antifungal medicine. It treats fungal infections in the stomach, lungs, esophagus or other internal body areas. The generic name for Cancidas is Caspofungin.
Patent expiration date (pediatric exclusivity): April 25, 2017.
A combination of Ezetimibe and Simvastatin create Vytorin. The drug Ezetimibe reduces cholesterol absorption by the body. The generic name for Vytorin is Ezetimibe and Simvastatin.
Patent expiration date: May 15, 2017.
Invanz is an antibiotic that fights bacteria. Its use is to treat severe infections of the skin, lungs, stomach, pelvis and urinary tract. It is also prescribed to people getting certain types of surgery. The generic name for Invanz is Ertapenem.
Patent expiration date (pediatric exclusivity): May 26, 2017.
Strattera treats hyperactivity and impulse control caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and nerves. Its main purpose is to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The generic name for Strattera is Atomoxetine.
Patent expiration date: June 2, 2017.
Reyataz is used to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body. It is an antiviral medication. The drug is used, alongside other medications, to treat HIV. The generic name for Reyataz is Atazanavir.
Patent expiration date: June 13, 2017.
This cancer medication interferes with cancers cells that are at risk of growing and spreading in the body. Arranon treats T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. The generic name for Arranon is Nelarabine.
Patent expiration date: August 14, 2017.
Treximet tablets are a combination of Sumatriptan and Naproxen. Sumatriptan narrows blood vessels around the brain, reducing headache. Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The generic name for Treximet is Sumatriptan and Naproxen.
Patent expiration date: August 29, 2017.
Relpax narrows blood vessels around the brain to reduce headache. It also can reduce substances in the body that can trigger headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, as well as other symptoms of migraine. The generic name for Relpax is Eletriptan.
Patent expiration date: September 29, 2017.
Butrans are skin patches that contain Buprenorphine, which is an opioid pain medicine. The generic name for Butrans is Buprenorphine Transdermal.
Patent expiration date: October 15, 2017.
Acthar Gel is a synthetic hormone that occurs naturally in the body. It treats a variety of conditions like multiple sclerosis, psoriatic or rheumatoid arthritis. The generic name for Acthar Gel is Corticotropin.
Patent expiration date: October 24, 2017.
Omnaris prevents the release of substances that cause inflammation in the body. It is a synthetic steroid. The generic name for Omnaris is Ciclesonide.
Generic Viagra availability: December 11, 2017.
Though its patent doesn’t fully expire until 2020, Teva and Mylan pharmaceuticals have gained the right to launch their versions of generic Viagra as early as December 11, 2017. Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men.
Always speak to your physician about generic alternatives. One of the easiest ways to save money on your prescription immediately is by filling a generic alternative instead of the brand name.
The FDA requires generic drugs to have the exact same active ingredients make-up as their branded counterpart. Sometimes the inactive ingredients, like color dyes, may be different than the brand name. Speak to your pharmacist or physician if you have any concerns about switching to the generic version of your treatment.