Cholesterol Home > Generic WelChol

The earliest date that generic WelChol could be available is 2014, when the patent for the brand-name prescription drug expires. Don't believe any of the Internet ads for generic WelChol -- these phony medicines may be substandard and potentially dangerous. Until an approved generic version is available, do not buy any so-called generic WelChol.

Generic WelChol: An Overview

WelChol® (colesevelam hydrochloride) is a prescription medication licensed to treat high LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) in people with high total cholesterol. It is also licensed to help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
WelChol is manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. and is currently protected by a patent that prevents any generic WelChol from being manufactured. Yet, search the Internet for "generic WelChol," and you will find a number of companies selling it. The fact is that these medicines may be fake, substandard, and potentially dangerous. You should not buy any generic WelChol until an approved generic version is available.

When Will Generic WelChol Be Available?

The patent for WelChol currently expires in 2014. It is expected that once the drug goes off-patent, several companies will begin manufacturing a generic WelChol drug.

Is Colesevelam the Same as Generic WelChol?

No -- colesevelam is the active ingredient in WelChol, but is not a generic version of it. People often confuse "generic name" with "active ingredient" because of the tendency to refer to any drug's active ingredient as its generic name. But a medicine's active ingredient is different from its generic version. For there to be a generic version of a drug, the original medicine must have gone off-patent and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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