Patanase (olopatadine nasal spray) is no longer protected by a patent, but there are no generic versions being made. Why? It could be that a later-expiring patent or exclusivity rights are protecting the brand-name drug from generic competition. Keep in mind that olopatadine is the "generic name" of Patanase; however, this is not the same thing as "generic Patanase."
Generic Patanase: An Overview
Patanase® (olopatadine nasal spray) is a prescription nasal spray used to treat nasal allergies (known medically as allergic rhinitis). It belongs to a group of medications known as antihistamines.
Patanase is manufactured by Alcon Laboratories, Inc. There are currently no generic versions of Patanase available.
When Will Generic Patanase Be Available?
The first patent for Patanase expired in June 2011. However, Alcon may be protected from generic competition for Patanase until December 2012 (or perhaps later), due to other exclusivity rights. At this point, this is the earliest predictable date that a generic version of Patanase could become available.
However, there are other circumstances that could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period of Patanase. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for new Patanase uses. Once Patanase goes off patent, there may be several companies that will begin manufacturing a generic Patanase drug.
Is Olopatadine a Generic Patanase?
The answer is no. Olopatadine is the active ingredient in Patanase (as well as a few 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.