The antibiotic Zymar (gatifloxacin) is not available in generic form at this time. The drug's first patent has already expired; however, it's possible that another patent (set to expire in 2016) is protecting the brand-name product from generic competition. The active ingredient in Zymar, gatifloxacin, is sometimes referred to as the "generic name"; however, this is not the same thing as a generic version.
Can I Buy Generic Zymar?
Zymar® (gatifloxacin) is a prescription antibiotic eye drop licensed to treat bacterial conjunctivitis (commonly called "pink eye"). It belongs to a class of medications called fluoroquinolones, or "quinolones" for short.
Zymar is made by Allergan, Inc. The first patent for Zymar already expired; however, no generic versions are currently available.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
The first patent for Zymar expired in June 2010. This was the earliest predictable date that a generic version could have been produced.
However, other circumstances may have come up to extend the exclusivity period of Zymar. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for specific Zymar uses. Another patent is set to expire in 2016. In the future, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic Zymar drug.
Is Gatifloxacin a Generic Zymar?
No, gatifloxacin is the active ingredient in Zymar, but is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of any 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 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 November 19, 2010.
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