Although all of the patents for Etopophos (etoposide phosphate) have expired, a generic version of this drug is not available at this time. It is not clear why a generic version has not been made, but it may be because the demand for this product is not large enough to make it profitable to make generic Etopophos.
Can I Buy Generic Etopophos?
Etopophos® (etoposide phosphate) is a prescription chemotherapy medicine approved to treat cancers of the lung and testicles. It is used in combination with other chemotherapy medicines.
Etopophos is manufactured by Baxter Healthcare Corporation for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Although it is no longer protected from generic competition by patents, it is not available in generic form.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
Usually, once a drug goes off-patent, several companies make a generic version. However, no generic manufacturer has chosen to make a generic Etopophos medication.
It is not entirely clear why a generic version is not being made. It could be that the demand for this medication is too small for a manufacturer to profit from making a generic version. Because it is not clear why a manufacturer does not make a generic form of this drug, it is difficult to predict when, or even if, a generic version of Etopophos will become available.
It is worthwhile to note that Etopophos contains etoposide phosphate, the salt form of the medication etoposide. Etoposide also comes as a capsule that is taken by mouth and an injection (Toposar® [etoposide injection]). Etoposide injection is available in generic form.
Is Etoposide Phosphate a Generic Etopophos?
No -- etoposide phosphate is the active ingredient in Etopophos, but 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, 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 July 24, 2012.
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