Because patents are in place until September 2025, companies are not allowed to make a generic version of Mekinist (trametinib) at this time. However, after the first patent expires, a generic product may become available, provided there are no lawsuits or other circumstances that could delay its introduction.
Can I Buy Generic Mekinist?
Mekinist™ (trametinib) is a prescription medication used to treat a certain type of skin cancer known as melanoma. It is used when the cancer has spread to other areas of the body or cannot be treated with surgery.
Mekinist is made by GlaxoSmithKline. It is currently protected from generic competition by patents and exclusivity rights that have yet to expire.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
The first patent for Mekinist is set to expire in September 2025. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version could become available.
However, other circumstances could come up to delay or shorten this exclusivity period, including things such as lawsuits or other patents for new Mekinist uses. Once the patent expires, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic Mekinist drug.
Is Trametinib a Generic Mekinist?
No -- trametinib is the active ingredient in Mekinist, 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
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Mekinist [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2014 January.
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 September 19, 2013.
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