Patent Expiration Dates for Common Brand-Name Drugs

The following expiration dates are subject to change. Due to several issues regarding patent protection, generic versions are not always available immediately after a patent expires.

Drug

Patent Expiration Date

Axid (nizatidine)

April 2002

Claritin (loratadine)

December 2002

Celexa (citalopram)

July 2003

Cipro (ciprofloxacin)

December 2003

Cytovene (ganciclovir)

June 2003

DynaCirc (isradipine)

December 2003

Evista (raloxifene)

December 2002

Flonase (fluticasone)

November 2003

Flovent (fluticasone)

November 2003

Floxin (ofloxacin)

September 2003

Glucophage XL (metformin extended-release)

October 2003

Glucovance (glyburide and metformin)

June 2003

Lotensin (benazepril)

August 2003

Nasonex (mometasone)

December 2002

Plavix (clopidogrel)

July 2003

Relafen (nabumetone)

December 2002

Requip (ropinirole)

December 2002

Rhinocort Aqua (budesonide)

October 2002

Serzone (nefazodone)

March 2003

Topamax (topiramate)

September 2003

Ultram (tramadol)

June 2003


Generics Recently Released or Coming Soon

Glucophage (metformin)

Common Uses:

Used to lower blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes (also known as adult onset diabetes).

Status:

Patent expired in September 2000. Generic versions available now.

Recommendation:

If you currently take Glucophage or Glucophage XR, ask your doctor whether the generic form is right for you.


Mevacor (lovastatin)

Common Uses:

Used to lower cholesterol.

Status:

Patent expired in December 2001. Generic versions available now.

Similar Drugs:

Lipitor, Zocor, Lescol, Pravachol.

Recommendation:

If you take one of these cholesterol-lowering drugs, ask your doctor whether the generic version of Mevacor is appropriate for your needs.


Pepcid (famotidine)

Common Uses:

Used for peptic ulcer disease (PUD) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Status:

Patent expired in April 2001.
Generic versions available now.

Similar Drugs:

Zantac (generic available), Tagamet (generic available), Axid.

Recommendation:

If you currently take Pepcid or Axid, talk to your doctor about generic alternatives.


Prilosec (omeprazole)

Common Uses:

Used for GERD and peptic ulcer disease.

Status:

Patent was scheduled to expire in October 2001. Prilosecís manufacturer is currently challenging the patent expiration date.

Similar Drugs:

Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix.

Recommendation:

If you take Prilosec or the similar drugs above, stay tuned. If a generic version is produced, talk to your doctor about the possibility of switching.


Prinivil (lisinopril)

Common Uses:

Used for hypertension, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, and kidney protection in people with diabetes.

Status:

Patent will expire in June 2002. Generic versions should be available shortly thereafter.

Similar Drugs:

Zestril, Lotensin, Monopril, Univasc, Accupril, Altace, Mavik.

Recommendation:

If you take any of these drugs, ask your doctor if the generic version of Prinivil is right for you.


Prozac (fluoxetine)

Common Uses:

Prozac is an antidepressant drug.

Status:

Patent expired in August 2001.
Generic versions available now.

Similar Drugs:

Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa.

Recommendation:

While switching antidepressant therapy may not be appropriate for everyone, you may want ask your doctor whether the generic version of Prozac is right for you.

In the three months after Prozacís patent expired, the generic version was approved by physicians and patients for over 75% of the fluoxetine prescriptions filled by Express Scriptsí Mail Service Pharmacy.