Is a Generic Version of Patanol Available?
(olopatadine ophthalmic solution
) is a prescription eye drop approved for treating signs and symptoms of eye allergies
(known medically as allergic conjunctivitis). It belongs to a group of allergy medications known as antihistamines.
Patanol is manufactured by Alcon Laboratories, Inc. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Patanol from being manufactured in the United States.
When Will Generic Patanol Be Available?
The first patent for this drug is currently set to expire in June 2011, although Alcon also has a patent for Patanol that expires significantly later (June 2015). A few different manufacturers of generic drugs have challenged one or both of these patents, and Alcon has sued these companies for patent infringement. At this time, it is not clear when generic Patanol will become available, as not all of these lawsuits have been resolved.
Is Olopatadine a Generic Patanol?
No -- olopatadine is the active ingredient in Patanol (as well as in Pataday
™ eye drops and Patanase®
nasal spray), but it is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that the active ingredient of a drug is often 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.