There is currently no generic version of Zetia available on the market. However, once the April 2017 patent for Zetia expires, several companies may begin manufacturing a generic version. While there is not a generic version at this time, there are a number of other cholesterol medications that are also effective at lowering cholesterol.
Generic Zetia: An Overview
Zetia® (ezetimibe) is a prescription medicine that is licensed to lower high cholesterol in adolescents (10 years of age or older) and adults. Zetia is manufactured by Merck and Schering-Plough and is currently protected by a patent that prevents any generic Zetia from being manufactured.
When Will There Be a Generic Version?
The first patent for Zetia currently expires in March 2014. However, in lawsuits, courts have upheld a later-expiring patent (set to expire in April 2017) for Zetia. As a result, April 2017 is the earliest possible date that a generic version of the drug could become available. However, there are other circumstances that could come up to extend the exclusivity period beyond 2017. This could include such things as other patents for specific Zetia uses or lawsuits.
Once Zetia goes off patent, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic Zetia drug.
Is Ezetimibe a Generic Zetia?
No, it isn't. Ezetimibe is Zetia's active ingredient, not a generic version of the drug. People often make the mistake of referring to a drug's active ingredient as its "generic name." However, a medicine's generic name is different than a generic version of it.
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 have made the product.