At this time, generic Ozurdex (dexamethasone intravitreal implant) is unavailable and it will remain so until at least 2020, when the first patent protecting the drug expires. The active ingredient in Ozurdex, dexamethasone, is sometimes referred to as the "generic name"; however, this is not the same thing as a generic version.
Can I Buy Generic Ozurdex?
Ozurdex® (dexamethasone intravitreal implant) is a prescription eye implant (injection) used to treat certain eye conditions that cause swelling in the middle and back of the eye. It belongs to a group of medicines called corticosteroids ("steroids" for short).
Ozurdex is made by Allergan, Inc. It is protected by patents that prevent any generic versions from being made.
When Will Generic Ozurdex Be Available?
The first patent for Ozurdex currently expires in October 2020. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version could become available.
However, other circumstances could come up to extend or shorten this exclusivity period. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for specific Ozurdex uses. Once the drug goes off-patent, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic Ozurdex drug.
Is Dexamethasone a Generic Ozurdex?
No -- dexamethasone is the active ingredient in Ozurdex (as well as in several other prescription medications), but is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that oftentimes, the active ingredient of a 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, the original medicine must have gone off-patent and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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 March 19, 2011.
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