Article updated on May 11, 2011:
A recent new report shows that Watson Pharmaceuticals is cleared to create a generic form of Concerta for the US. A recent court of appeal decision is reported to have said that the patent on Concerta is invalid and that Watson is cleared to make their own version of the drug. Johnson and Johnson, the parent company which makes Concerta, had worldwide sales of $1.33 billion of Concerta last year.
According to this report, Watson is now authorized to sell a generic version of Concerta. This report shares the fact that the sales of Concerta totaled $1.5 billion in the year ending Feb 28, 2011 (it is unclear if that is worldwide or US data).
The report says:
Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical unit is making and supplying the drug, and it will receive a share of the revenue from sales. Watson will market and distribute the generic.
The agreement lasts until the end of 2014. Watson can launch its own generic version when the deal ends.
What does this mean for you?
If you take Concerta (and you are in the USA), then it appears that you will be able to get a generic version of the drug which is sold by Watson, and manufactured by Ortho-McNeil. In other words – this should be the exact same medicine. This will last until 2014 – at which time this deal ends, and Watson will be creating its own version of generic Concerta.
This is quite a different circumstance than what is going on in Canada.
My experience in Canada is that the new generic Concerta which has surfaced in Canada is quite an inferior drug, and falls short of Concerta in many ways. That didn’t stop Health Canada from approving the medicine, and deeming it interchangeable – which allows pharmacists to automatically substitute the medicine to people, even if they come in with a prescription requesting Concerta. To read more about this, please refer to my article on Generic Concerta in Canada.
As always – the power of this blog comes from the discussion -and from you sharing your experiences and providing real feedback as to what is going on. As your prescription shifts from the ‘brand name’ Concerta to the Generic Concerta (from Watson), please take a moment and let us know if it is working well and if it seems the same to you.