||Decamber 28, 2 005
An Exclusive Continuing Education Publication of Acadiana Consultant Pharmacy Service
Author, Publisher, Editor-in Chief, Typesetter & Printer, Charles S. Feucht,PD,FASCP PharmD candidate
Medication News & Update
You should expect to see many high cost top 100 drugs become available as generics in 2006. Drugs such as Altace, Ambien, Lamisil, Norvasc, Pravachol, Proscar, Zocor, and Zoloft.
Many more are expected in the next couple of years. They are Coreg, Imitrex, Provigil, Tequin, Zyrtec, and several others.
When these new generics hit the market the Medicare Part D formularies will begin showing changes. Some plans will actually require step therapy for many of these drugs. That means that you will be required to try generic Zocor or Pravachol before Lipitor for example or generic Ambien before Sonata or Lunesta.
Predicting when a generic will come out is tricky. Lawyers for both brand and generic companies are maneuvering behind the scenes. Brand-name drugs often have MULTIPLE patents...on the chemical, indication, dosage form, manufacturing process, etc.
Generic companies often challenge a patent BEFORE it expires.
The first company to challenge a patent and win gets 6 months exclusivity for that generic. That's why the first generic often costs much more than you'd expect...for the first few months.
A brand-name company can also sue a generic company for patent infringement. This blocks any generics from getting approved for up to 30 months pending a court ruling.
Generics for Fosamax, Sonata, and Wellbutrin XL are stuck in this legal limbo right now.