It is unclear when a generic version of atomoxetine will become available. Due to a recent court ruling, generic versions could reach the market earlier than expected (2017 was the original expected date). Until there is an approved generic available, do not buy any medicine sold as "generic atomoxetine."
Generic Atomoxetine: An Overview
Atomoxetine hydrochloride (Strattera®) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Atomoxetine was the first nonstimulant approved to treat ADHD.
Atomoxetine is manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company. It is currently protected by a patent that prevents any generic version the drug from being manufactured. Yet, if you search the Internet for "generic atomoxetine," you may 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 atomoxetine until there is an approved generic available.
When Will There Be a Generic Atomoxetine?
In August 2010, the patent for Strattera (which was set to expire in 2017) was found to be invalid in a lawsuit between Eli Lilly and several generic manufacturers. This could mean that generic versions will be available shortly, although Eli Lilly plans to appeal the ruling.
Is Atomoxetine a Generic Strattera?
The answer is no. Atomoxetine is the active ingredient in Strattera, not a generic version of the drug. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of any drug is referred to as its "generic name." The generic name of a drug is different from 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.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Strattera [package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Lilly USA, LLC;2013 August.
Eli Lilly and Company. U.S. District Court rules against Lilly regarding Strattera patent: Lilly plans appeal to defend Strattera's intellectual property (8/12/2010). Eli Lilly Web site. Available at: http://newsroom.lilly.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=498928. Accessed August 19, 2010.
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 5, 2007.
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