Because the patent for Qnasl (beclomethasone nasal aerosol) has not yet expired, companies are not allowed to make a generic version of the drug. After the patent expires in February 2014, a generic Qnasl product could become available. However, lawsuits, other patents for new uses of Qnasl, or other situations may delay the availability of a generic version of the nasal spray.
Can I Buy Generic Qnasl?
Qnasl™ (beclomethasone nasal aerosol) is a prescription steroid nasal spray approved to treat nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis). It can be used to treat seasonal allergies or year-round allergies (perennial allergies) in adults and children as young as 12 years old. Qnasl belongs to a group of medications known as corticosteroids, or simply "steroids" for short. Qnasl is the first "dry" nasal steroid, as it is not a water-based formulation.
Qnasl is manufactured by 3M Drug Delivery Systems for Teva Respiratory, LLC. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Qnasl from being manufactured in the United States.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
The first patent for Qnasl is set to expire in February 2014. This is the earliest possible date that a generic version could become available. However, other circumstances could come up to delay or shorten the exclusivity period. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for new Qnasl uses. Once the patent expires, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic Qnasl drug.
Because Qnasl is not yet available as a generic, your insurance company may require you to try a different generic steroid nasal spray before it will cover Qnasl. These situations are becoming more common as insurance companies try to limit rising healthcare costs. In this situation, your pharmacist and healthcare provider can help you choose a nasal spray that will be covered by your insurance plan.
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 May 1, 2012.
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