Generic Alli

Because Alli is a relatively new drug, a patent still protects it. This means that the earliest date generic Alli could become available is in the year 2018. If patents for specific uses or lawsuits are filed, this date could be pushed out even further. It's important to note that orlistat is not generic Alli -- it's the active ingredient in the drug.

Generic Alli: An Overview

Alli™ (orlistat) is a non-prescription weight loss drug. It is the only non-prescription weight loss product that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Alli is made by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Alli from being manufactured in the United States.

When Will Generic Alli Be Available?

The first patent for Alli is currently set to expire in January 2018. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version of the drug could become available. However, other circumstances could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period. This could include such things as patents for specific Alli uses or lawsuits. Once the patent expires, several companies will likely begin manufacturing generic Alli.

Is Orlistat a Generic Alli?

No -- orlistat is the active ingredient in Alli (as well as in the prescription medication Xenical®), 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.
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