Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to speed up the review process for generic drug applications, with the goal of providing patients with more generic medicine options. Generic drugs account for nine out of ten prescriptions in the United States, according to the FDA. In 2017 alone the agency granted 74 first-time generic drug approvals and, according to a tweet from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, more than 1,000 generic drugs were approved over the course of the year.
Generic medication offers a cheaper alternative to branded products, with prices often significantly lower. Patents on drugs usually last for 20 years, after which point other manufacturers may submit generic versions of products to the FDA for approval. Generic drugs are required to contain the same active ingredients, have the same efficacy, strength, route of administration and dosage as the original medicine.
Always committed to saving you money, at RxSpark we have picked out three important first-time generic drug approvals from recent weeks that should see new generic medications hitting the shelves of US pharmacies in the months to come…
One of the most high-profile generic approvals at the end of 2017 was for generic versions of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil). Originally produced by Pfizer, generic versions of the medication are set to appear in pharmacies across the United States after Teva Pharmaceuticals and Mylan both gained approval for their generic products. On RxSpark, branded Viagra costs up to twice as much as the generic versions of the drug, and further savings can be made when you purchase your medication using a RxSpark discount card…
Estrace Cream 0.01% (estradiol vaginal cream)
On January 2nd 2018, Teva Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of an authorized generic version of Estrace Cream 0.01% (estradiol vaginal cream) in the United States. The topical product is indicated in the treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy caused by the menopause. Estradiol is also available in other forms, including tablet and patch. It is a female hormone used to reduce the symptoms of menopause.
Lotrimin (butenafine hydrochloride) Ultra Cream
In late 2017, the FDA granted first-time approval to a generic version of Lotrimin (butenafine hydrochloride cream 1%) Ultra Cream. The original Bayer Pharmaceuticals product is used to treat skin infections such as athletes foot, jock itch, and ringworm. Approval for the generic version of this medication was granted to Taro Pharmaceuticals.
Whenever you search for a drug on RxSpark, or are prescribed a medication by a healthcare professional, make sure you find out whether a cheaper generic option is available. It could save you hundreds of dollars! With RxSpark it is easy. After finding your drug using our search function, click the drop-down menu on the left to see which branded and generic versions of your chosen medication are available.