A patent currently prevents any generic form of Femring from being manufactured in the United States. After this patent expires in December 2015, generic Femring may become available. However, certain circumstances, such as lawsuits or patents for other Femring uses, could extend or shorten the drug's exclusivity period.
Generic Femring: An Overview
Femring® (estradiol vaginal ring) is a prescription hormone replacement medication used to treat vaginal menopause symptoms, such as vaginal dryness, itching, or burning, and vasomotor menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats. Femring is a small, flexible ring that is inserted vaginally and left in place for up to 90 days.
Femring is made by Warner Chilcott (US), Inc. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Femring from being sold in the United States.
When Will Generic Femring Be Available?
The first patent for Femring currently expires in December 2015. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version of the drug could become available. However, other circumstances could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for specific Femring uses. Once Femring goes off-patent, several companies will likely begin manufacturing a generic Femring drug.
Is Estradiol the Same as Generic Femring?
No -- estradiol is the active ingredient in Femring, but it is not a generic version of it. 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
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Femring [package insert]. Rockaway, NJ: Warner Chilcott (US);2009 May.
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 April 28, 2008.
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