Risperdal will NOT be generic in June 2008

UPDATE: New info available on generic Risperdal

Another update: generic now available…not sure when the exact date was. 9/13/08

I wrote a while back that Risperdal, the antipsychotic I’m still on at .75 mg, was going generic in June but apparently Janssenn has been able to extend the patent. It’s very hard to find information regarding this and there was some information stating it would be generic in June a while back which I reported on.

I’ve noticed that people keep coming to my site under searches for when will Risperdal go generic. I was looking for the answer today because a week or so ago I read that Teva had applied for exclusive rights to make the generic drug but that it was still pending and that it would not be finalized until June. That made me figure we probably won’t have a generic in June.

So today I started looking for more answers again. I found on Crazy Meds bulletin board information that seems to put any hope for a generic well into the future.

Someone there turned me onto the Electronic Orange Book, put out by the FDA. It has all drugs and the lengths of their patents. Good little resource to be aware of.

Unfortunately, even though I was worried about generic Risperdal not being similar enough for me to continue my taper safely, I was still hoping it would be and that I would save much money.

Here is the chart for Risperdal patents ending. The dates differ depending on what Risperdal was approved for. I don’t really understand most of it, but what is clear is that the earliest we’re going to see any Risperdal generic is October of 2009 and some of the extensions go as far as February 2011.

Somehow I’m going to have to manage my way through the donut hole again this year. Medicare doesn’t cover you at all after you reach about $3,000 in spending (that’s approximate). The donut whole (nice little euphemism) makes you pay a good other $3,000 out of pocket. GlaxoSmithKline kindly paid for my Lamictal last year when I was in the donut hole, but Janssen apparently doesn’t give a shit if you can’t afford their meds and didn’t help me out at all with the Risperdal. At the time I took this to mean they were trying to milk every cent out of us since they were losing their patent.

Oh how I hope by next years donut hole I will be off all the drugs…

A note on the insanity of drug costs: a .25 mg tablet costs about the same as a 4 mg tablet. So even though I’m on a fraction of the dose I used to be on the expense is about the same!! Sometimes it’s even more because I was taking three .25 mg tablets until I switched to liquid. I’ve got to compare costs on .5 mg tablets while cutting one in half. That might save me money.

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

10 Responses

  1. Doe

    Could you crush up the 4mg tablet into four 1 mg piles and then take a little away to make them into .75 mg piles?

    I divide my 20 mgs capsules of prozac into four 5mg doses and it’s cheaper that way for me. The doses maybe aren’t exact, but it doesn’t really seem to be anything I feel or have problems with. Perhaps that’s b/c prozac has a long half life though.

    I actually pay for the name brand b/c the generic doesn’t work for me. I don’t have health insurance. 4 capsules cost me about $40–unbelievable!

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  2. Ronda

    We are in the same boat. My husband is on 4 mg of Risperdal a day. We hit the donut hole around July last year so we switched insurances and manage to hit the hole in April this year because the pharmacy was charging the insurance company $800 a month! When we pay cash, it is close to $600 a month which almost all of my husband’s check. We were sooo looking forward to generic Risperdal.

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  3. Sloopy Cowbell

    This offers a great way to save money in these challenging economic times, and a ripe opportunity for poking the parasitic pharmaceutical industry in the eye…

    It could usefully be done by a co-operative of people who hold scripts for the same drug. They could each in turn demand a higher dose from their doctor and then divide up the surplus between them.

    Gianna.. that’s pretty impressive what you’ve achieved in just 7 weeks!

    From May 6th when you posted this blog entry to today, June 24th, you’ve reduced the risperidone from 0.75mg to 0.45mg – a drop of an astonishing 40% !

    According to Wikipedia, 0.45mg is even less than the weight of a horsefly’s egg!

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