Generic Albuterol Inhaler
After 2008, generic albuterol inhalers stopped being made, since they contained chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are believed to deplete the ozone layer. However, newer inhalers that are environmentally friendly are currently being sold in brand-name form. It is unclear when generic albuterol inhalers will become available again.
Albuterol inhalers are prescription medications used to treat asthma and other similar lung problems. Albuterol is part of a class of asthma drugs known as beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short.
At this time, there are no generic versions of albuterol inhalers. The older generic versions that were previously available are no longer made or sold, since they contained chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as propellants (see Environmentally Friendly Albuterol Inhaler). The newer, CDC-free albuterol inhalers available in brand-name form include:
Importantly, none of the new HFA inhalers have generic versions.
The first patents for Proventil HFA and Proair HFA expired in November 2009 and July 2010. It is unclear why generic versions of either inhaler are not yet available. Perhaps the other listed patents (the next of which is set to expire in February 2014) provide protection against generic competition.
The first patent for Ventolin HFA currently expires in October 2015. Although this patent was originally set to expire in April 2015, the manufacturer was given an extension for performing much-needed pediatric studies.
When multiple patents are listed (as is the case with albuterol inhalers), it is often unclear which patents provide true protection against generic competition. Therefore, it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict when exactly a generic version of an albuterol HFA inhaler will become available.