Benicar HCT is currently protected by a patent that prevents any generic version of the medication from being manufactured. Once the patent expires in 2016, several companies may begin to manufacture generic Benicar HCT. However, certain factors could extend this exclusivity period. For example, lawsuits or other patents for specific uses could prevent a generic Benicar HCT from being produced until a later date.
The first patent for Benicar HCT currently expires in 2016. This is the earliest date that a generic version of Benicar HCT could become available. However, there are other circumstances that could extend the exclusivity period beyond 2016. This could include such things as other patents for specific Benicar HCT uses or lawsuits. Once Benicar HCT goes off-patent, several companies may begin manufacturing a generic Benicar HCT drug.
Is Olmesartan or Hydrochlorothiazide a Generic Benicar HCT?
The answer is no. Olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide are the active ingredients in Benicar HCT, but are not generic versions of Benicar HCT. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of a 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.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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/.
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