Even though the patents for Premarin have expired, there are currently no generic versions of the medication approved in the United States. However, there are companies claiming to sell a generic version. Be advised, however, that these products are likely fake, and could potentially be dangerous. Also, the FDA will not approve any generic versions until several requirements are met.
Premarin® (conjugated estrogens) is a mixture of natural equine (horse) estrogens. It is approved for the following uses:
- Preventing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
- Treating menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness
- Replacing hormones in younger women whose ovaries do not produce enough estrogen
- Relieving the symptoms of certain cancers (in both men and women) that have spread throughout the body.
Premarin is made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Although the patents for Premarin have expired, there are no generic versions of Premarin approved in the United States.
However, if you search the Internet for "generic Premarin," you may find a number of companies selling it. The fact is that these medicines may be fake, substandard, and potentially dangerous. There may be generic Premarin available from another country, but there is really no way of knowing if you are getting genuine Premarin or not. You should not buy anything sold as "generic Premarin" until there is an approved generic available.
Why Isn't Generic Premarin Available?
Premarin is a complex, natural product. It contains several different estrogens in various amounts. For this reason, it would probably be difficult to create a generic medication that is exactly like Premarin.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will not approve any generic versions of Premarin until several requirements are met. Most importantly, the exact composition of Premarin must be fully evaluated. This is difficult because it is not clear which components of Premarin are really "active" ingredients and which are not. Any potential generics must be shown to be identical to Premarin in terms of the content, dose, and absorption of these active components.