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