At this time, there are no generic Flector (diclofenac patch) products available on the market. The medication is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any companies from manufacturing a generic version in the United States. As soon as this patent expires in April 2014, however, other drug companies will be able to produce a generic version.
Is a Generic Version of Flector Available?
The Flector® Patch (diclofenac patch) is a prescription pain medication. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that comes in patch form and is approved for the short-term treatment of pain due to strains, sprains, and bruises.
The Flector Patch is made by Teikoku Seiyaku Co., Ltd. and is distributed by Alpharma Pharmaceuticals LLC. Flector is currently protected by a patent that prevents any generic Flector from being sold in the United States.
When Will There Be a Generic Version?
The first patent for Flector is currently set to expire in April 2014. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version of Flector could become available. However, there are other circumstances that could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period of Flector. This could include such things as lawsuits or new patents for the medicine.
Is Diclofenac a Generic Flector?
The answer is no. Diclofenac is the active ingredient in Flector (as well as several other medications) but is not a generic version of the medication. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of any 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 24, 2009.
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