At this time, no generic Apokyn (apomorphine) products are available. The exclusivity rights have expired, so it is unclear why no generic versions have been introduced. Until an approved generic becomes available, do not buy anything claiming to be a generic Apokyn. You may not be getting what you think.
Apokyn Generic: An Overview
Apokyn® (apomorphine hydrochloride) is a prescription Parkinson's disease medication. Specifically, it is used to help reverse the symptoms of "off" episodes (periods of muscle stiffness, slow movements, and trouble initiating movements). It is given as an injection just under the skin.
Apokyn is made by Vernalis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. At this time, there is no generic Apokyn available.
When Will Generic Apokyn Be Available?
Vernalis Pharmaceuticals held the exclusive rights to market Apokyn until at least April 2011. This was the earliest expected date that a generic version of Apokyn could become available. However, that date has come and gone, and no generic versions are available.
It is unclear why no generic versions are available at this time. Perhaps the market for this medication and the fact that it can be dispensed only through specialty pharmacies make it unprofitable for a generic manufacturer to apply to make a generic version of Apokyn.
Is Apomorphine the Same as Generic Apokyn?
No -- apomorphine is the active ingredient in Apokyn, but it is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of a 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.
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 June 15, 2011.
Apokyn Web site. Available at: http://apokyn.com. Accessed April 17, 2008.
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