Patents currently prevent any company from making a generic Fetzima (levomilnacipran) product. The earliest predictable date that a generic version could become available is June 2023, when the first patent is set to expire. Although levomilnacipran is sometimes called the "generic name" of Fetzima, it is simply the active ingredient in the medication and not a generic version of it.
Fetzima is made by Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc., under license from Pierre Fabre Medicament. It is protected from generic competition by patents that have not yet expired.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
The first patent for Fetzima is set to expire in June 2023. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version could become available.
However, other circumstances could come up to delay or shorten this exclusivity period. This could include things such as lawsuits or other patents for new Fetzima uses. Once the patents expire, several companies may begin manufacturing a generic Fetzima drug.
Is Levomilnacipran a Generic Fetzima?
No -- levomilnacipran is the active ingredient in Fetzima, not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that the active ingredient of a drug is often referred to as the "generic name."
The generic name is different from a generic version of a medicine. In order for there to be a generic version, the original medicine must have gone off-patent and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Fetzima [package insert]. St. Louis, MO: Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;2013 July.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 19, 2014.
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