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Generic Version of Copaxone Available

The first generic multiple sclerosis disease modifying therapy (DMT) was released onto the market on June 18, after a federal appeals court invalidated a patent for Teva’s widely used brand-name therapy Copaxone. Glatopa, the generic drug made by Sandoz and Momenta Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in April 2015 as a once per day treatment for relapsing types of multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis patients are hoping the release of a generic DMT will come with a smaller price tag than previous therapies on the market. As of release, Novartis, who owns Sandoz, said Glatopa will have a wholesale price of $63,000 per a year, which will make it 18% less expensive than Copaxone. The cost for the generic could reduce further, if insurers agree to offer discounts and rebates for the treatment.1,2

Currently, Copaxone accounts for approximately 30% of prescriptions, the largest for multiple sclerosis treatments. Prior to invalidation, the Copaxone patent was to end in September 2015.3,4

  1. Pollack A. Teva Ruling Clears Way for Generic Version of Multiple Sclerosis Drug. The New York Times. June 2015.
  2. Barkber J. US appeals court invalidates patent for Teva's Copaxone, allowing launch of Novartis, Momenta's generic. FirstWord Pharma. June 2015.
  3. Barber J. Novartis, Momenta receive FDA approval for first generic version of Teva's Copaxone. FirstWord Pharma. April 2015.
  4. Pollack A. Generic Version of Copaxone, Multiple Sclerosis Drug, Is Approved. The New York Times. April 2015.

Comments

  • itasara
    4 years ago

    I agree with the other comments so far. It is pretty obvious that Teva politically rolled out the 40mg 3x/wk products as a result of generic status being made available. But the new generic drug will still be 7x/wk which is not all that advantageous to patients in my opinion. The newer Copaxone is till quite pricey and maybe better for patients but the goal was for Teva to not lose more income so the idea which both Copaxones should come down in price is highly unlikely because it is still about the money. The new copaxone has less injections to ship, and overall it is less medication per week and far as I understand the formula is the same, just more per injection so shouldn’t it be less cost? (not what I was told from the insurance company, but then I’m not sure I believed it.) There is no cap on the cost of medications so they are likely to increase in price. I’ve been on Copaxone about 10 years. The price continually climbs. The generic version may be the same, but there is always some difference. Some people will do well on it and others will not; it will be interesting to see how well it fares.

  • cabotsmom
    4 years ago

    Ty95he1 I agree – Big pharma is the biggest rip off there is. When I started on Copaxone it was 16K a year and now it is 66K per year. Big bonuses for detail reps and CEO’s and honorariums for docs got TEVA into this mess. They need to reduce the cost of the 20 mg Copaxone to compete with this generic (after all TEVA is the largest generic manufacturer out there and has poached many drugs from other companies) I know Karma is a bitch and TEVA deserves this but NOT at the expense of the patient. Shame on all of them and Shame on the SCOTUS for even taking up this case. Guess none of them has a debilitating disease which is somewhat controlled OR they all have stock in Biogen Idec!

  • 1y95he1
    4 years ago

    Is the price mentioned in this article a mistake? Because Copaxone (brand name version) costs $63,000/year already. Aren’t generic versions of drugs supposed to cost less?

    How corrupt is Novartis to dare to price their generic knock-off at the same, already grossly-inflated price as the original drug??

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