At this time, patents prevent a generic Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) product from being manufactured. The earliest predictable date that a generic version of the drug could become available is May 2014, when the first patent expires. However, lawsuits or other patents for specific uses of Restasis may delay the manufacturing of a generic version of the drug.
Can I Buy Generic Restasis?
Restasis® (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of chronic dry eyes. This medicine increases the amount of tears in your eyes when tear production is reduced due to inflammation.
Restasis is made by Allergan, Inc. It is protected by patents that prevent a generic version from being manufactured in the United States.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
The first patent for Restasis expires in May 2014. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version could become available.
However, there are other circumstances that could come up to extend or shorten this exclusivity period. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for specific Restasis uses. Once the drug goes off-patent, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic Restasis drug.
Is Cyclosporine a Generic Restasis?
No -- cyclosporine is the active ingredient in Restasis, but it is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that the active ingredient of a drug is often 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.
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 August 3, 2010.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click