There are currently no generic Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) products licensed for sale. Copaxone is under the protection of patents that prevent any generic versions from being manufactured in the United States. When the first patent expires in May 2014, other companies can begin producing a generic Copaxone drug. In the meantime, so-called generic versions of the drug online should be avoided.
Generic Copaxone: An Overview
Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate) is a prescription medication used to treat multiple sclerosis (also known as MS). It is part of a group of medications known as interferons and must be taken by injection.
Copaxone is manufactured by Teva Neuroscience, Inc. It is currently under the protection of several patents that prevent any generic Copaxone from being manufactured or sold in the United States. Yet, if you search the Internet for "generic Copaxone," you may find a number of companies selling it. The fact is that these medicines may be fake, substandard, and potentially dangerous. Generic Copaxone may be available from another country, but there is really no way of knowing whether you are actually getting genuine Copaxone. You should not buy any generic Copaxone until there is an approved version available.
When Will Generic Copaxone Be Available?
The first patent for Copaxone currently expires in May 2014. This is the earliest possible date that a generic version of the drug could become available. However, other circumstances could come up to extend the exclusivity period beyond 2014. This could include such things as other patents for specific Copaxone uses or lawsuits. Once the patent expires, several companies will likely begin manufacturing a generic Copaxone drug.
Is Glatiramer the Same as Generic Copaxone?
No -- glatiramer is the active ingredient in Copaxone, 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.