There is currently no generic Vytorin available on the market, due to patents that have not yet expired. There are, however, several companies claiming that they sell generic versions of this product. Beware of these companies, because the so-called generic drug they are selling is potentially dangerous.
Generic Vytorin: An Overview
Vytorin® (ezetimibe/simvastatin) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat high cholesterol. It is manufactured by Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals (MSP) and is currently protected by patents that prevent any generic Vytorin from being manufactured.
Yet, if you search the Internet for "generic Vytorin," you will find a number of companies selling it. The fact is that these medicines could be fake, substandard, and potentially dangerous. You should not buy any so-called generic Vytorin until an approved version is available.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
The first patent for Vytorin is set to expire in March 2014. However, in lawsuits, courts have upheld a later-expiring patent (set to expire in April 2017) for Vytorin. As a result, April 2017 is the earliest predictable date that a generic version of the drug could become available. However, other circumstances could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period. This could include such things as other patents for specific Vytorin uses or lawsuits.
Is Ezetimibe or Simvastatin a Generic Vytorin?
No -- ezetimibe and simvastatin are the active ingredients in Vytorin, but neither is a generic version of it. 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 must make the product.
Merck & Co., Inc. Merck wins U.S. Zetia (ezetimibe) / Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) patent infringement lawsuit (4/27/2012). Merck. Available at: http://www.merck.com/newsroom/news-release-archive/corporate/2012_0427.html. May 23, 2012.
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 June 5, 2009.
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