Generic Proventil HFA
Available in brand-name form only, Proventil HFA is a type of environmentally friendly albuterol inhaler. No generic versions are available yet, even though two of the drug's patents have expired. The next patent is set to expire in February 2014. However, there is no guarantee that a generic version would be sold at that time.
Generic Proventil HFA: An Overview
Proventil® HFA (albuterol inhaler) is a prescription medication used to treat asthma and other similar lung problems. It is part of a class of asthma drugs known as beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short.
Proventil HFA is manufactured by the Schering-Plough Corporation. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Proventil HFA from being manufactured in the United States. Proventil HFA is one of only a few environmentally friendly albuterol inhalers. Older, "traditional" albuterol inhalers will no longer be available after December 31, 2008. None of the new inhalers have generic equivalents at this time.
When Will Generic Proventil HFA Be Available?
The first patents for Proventil HFA expired in November 2009 and July 2010. It is unclear why generic versions 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. At this time, it is difficult to predict precisely when a generic version of Proventil HFA may become available.
Affording Proventil HFA
The new albuterol inhalers are more expensive than their older versions, as no generics are available. There is a shortage of the older inhalers, which is only expected to worsen until they will no longer be available at all (after December 31, 2008). People will need to switch to one of the new inhalers (such as Proventil HFA), since albuterol is not a medication that one can "go without." If you have trouble affording the new inhalers, talk to your healthcare provider. There are programs available to help people who cannot afford the new inhalers.