Although the first patent for Meridia expired in November 2007, it appears that no generic Meridia will be available until at least 2013. This is because there is another patent that is set to expire in 2013, and no manufacturers have decided to challenge this patent.
Is There a Generic Version of Meridia?
In October 2010, Meridia was withdrawn from the market in the United States. Studies have shown that it increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This medication will no longer be available in the United States. People should stop taking it and should ask their healthcare providers about more appropriate weight loss options.
Meridia® (sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate) is a prescription weight loss medication that works in the brain by helping people feel full. It is approved to help people lose weight and to keep the weight off. Meridia should be used in conjunction with a low-calorie diet.
Meridia is made by Abbott Laboratories. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic versions from being manufactured in the United States. Yet, if you search the Internet for "generic Meridia," you may find a number of companies selling it. The fact is that these medicines may be fake, substandard, and potentially dangerous.
Generic products may be available from another country, but there is really no way of knowing if you are getting genuine Meridia or not. Therefore, you should not buy any generic versions until one has been approved.
When Will Generic Meridia Be Available?
The first patent for Meridia expired in November 2007. However, it appears that a later patent (set to expire in January 2013) will protect Meridia from generic competition. The expiration date for the first patent has passed, and no generic companies have decided to challenge the 2013 patent. At this point, it appears that no generic versions will be available until at least 2013. This could change, however, if any generic manufacturers choose to legally challenge the 2013 patent at an earlier date.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Meridia [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: Abbott Laboratories;2010 August.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Meridia (sibutramine): market withdrawal due to risk of serious cardiovascular events (10/8/2010). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm228830.htm. Accessed October 15, 2010.
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 October 22, 2007.
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