There are currently no generic Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release) products available in the United States. The earliest possible date that a generic version of the medication could become available is December 2017, when the first patent for Altoprev expires.
Altoprev is marketed and distributed by Sciele Pharma, Inc. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Altoprev from being manufactured in the United States.
When Will Generic Altoprev Be Available?
The first patent for Altoprev currently expires in December 2017. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version of Altoprev could become available.
However, there are other circumstances that could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period of Altoprev. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for specific Altoprev uses. Once Altoprev goes off patent, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic Altoprev drug.
While there are no generic versions of Altoprev currently available, the short-acting version of this medication (Mevacor®) is available in generic form.
Is Lovastatin a Generic Version of Altoprev?
The answer is no. Lovastatin extended-release is the active ingredient in Altoprev but is not a generic version of Altoprev.
What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of any drug is 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 of a medicine, the original medicine must have gone off patent, and another company besides the original manufacturer would make the product.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Altoprev [package insert]. Florham Park, NJ: Shionogi, Inc.;2012 April.
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 November 25, 2008.
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