Although all of the patents for Gliadel (carmustine implant) have expired, no generic versions are available at this time. It is unknown why this is the case, but it may be because the demand for this drug is too small for it to be profitable for a company to make a generic product. It is not known when or if a generic version will become available.
Can I Buy Generic Gliadel?
Gliadel® (carmustine implant) is a prescription medication approved to treat certain types of aggressive brain tumors. It is implanted into the brain during surgery after the tumor is removed.
Gliadel is made by Eisai, Inc. It is no longer protected by any patents. However, no generic Gliadel is available at this time.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
As mentioned previously, this medication is not protected by patents. Therefore, a manufacturer could make a generic version. However, at this time, none have chosen to do so.
It is not entirely clear why a generic version of Gliadel is not being made. It could be that the demand for this medication is too small for a manufacturer to profit from making a generic version. Because it is not clear why a manufacturer has not chosen to make a generic Gliadel, it is difficult to predict when, or even if, a generic version will become available.
Is Carmustine a Generic Gliadel?
No -- carmustine is the active ingredient in Gliadel, but 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, the original medicine must have gone off-patent and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.
Carmustine is also available as an injection sold under the brand-name BiCNU®.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Gliadel [package insert]. Woodcliff Lake, NJ: Eisai, Inc.;2010 April.
Gliadel Web site. Available at: http://www.gliadel.com/. Accessed August 4, 2012.
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 August 4, 2012.
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