Because Qutenza (capsaicin 8% patch) is protected by patents, there are no generic versions of this medication available at this time. The first patent is set to expire in November 2016, which is the earliest predictable date that a generic version may be manufactured. It is important to note that capsaicin is the "generic name" of Qutenza; it is not, however, a generic version of the drug.
Qutenza is manufactured by Lohmann Therapie-Systeme for NeurogesX, Inc. There are no generic versions of Qutenza available at this time.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
The first patent for Qutenza is currently set to expire in November 2016. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version of Qutenza could become available. However, there are other circumstances that could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period of Qutenza. This could include such things as lawsuits or new Qutenza patents.
Is Capsaicin a Generic Qutenza?
No -- capsaicin is the active ingredient in Qutenza (as well as several nonprescription products), but it is not a generic version of Qutenza. 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 would make the product.
It should be noted that nonprescription capsaicin products (such as creams or patches) are not equivalent to Qutenza, as they contain a much lower strength of capsaicin.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Qutenza [package insert]. San Mateo, CA: NeurogesX, Inc.;2009 November.
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 December 30, 2009.
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