Brand Drugs Going Generic in 2014

Folks on Medicare who take brand drugs may get some relief in 2014, when some big names go generic. I don’t know exactly when these drugs will be available in generic form, but anyone who takes these drugs needs to keep an eye out for big savings.

Most of these drugs are considered “preferred brands” on Part D plans, and that means a co-pay of $35 – $45, depending on a person’s plan.  But the plan might be paying $150 or more for the drug, which puts a person on a path to the “donut hole”, or the coverage gap in their Part D plan.

Last year I wrote about Lipitor being available as a generic at Costco, yet most Part D plans were still filling the brand at a cost of $150 per month. Atorvastain could be bought for $18 at Costco, but nobody told the millions of people who were taking the brand version, Lipitor.

The Lipitor story revealed arrangements between pharmaceutical companies and Part D plans to keep Lipitor sales (at higher prices) for about half of 2012, even though the generic was available at some retail outlets.  I wonder if the same scenario will be repeated in 2014 when this big list of drugs go generic?

Here is a list of brand drugs (from that are set to go generic in 2014.

Nexium (esomeprazole) for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is manufactured by AstraZeneca. Global sales in 2010 were $4.9 billion.

Cymbalta (duloxitine HCI), manufactured by Eli Lilly, is for the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, diabetic nerve pain, fibromylagia and chronic musculoskeletal pain. Global sales exceeded $4 billion in 2011.

Celebrex (celecoxib) is for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and management of acute pain in adults. Pfizer, its manufacturer, reported sales of $2.5 billion in 2011.  NOTE:  I received an email on 9/12/13 from a marketing firm associated with Pfizer that said:  “Pfizer was granted a reissue patent covering methods of treating osteoarthritis and other approved conditions with Celebrex, which expires on December 2, 2015; we have initiated legal proceedings against the generic companies to enforce our IP rights and maintain exclusivity in the US through December 2, 2015”.  So it looks like Celebrex will not be available in generic form next year.

Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate) for asthma and COPD is manufactured by AstraZeneca. Sales of Symbicort were $3.1 billion in 2011.

Lunesta (szopiclone), a treatment for insomnia, is manufactured by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd. Global sales in 2010 were $631 million.

Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) for increasing tear production in patients with chronic dry eyes, is manufactured by Allergan. In 2010, worldwide sales reached $621 million.

Evista (raloxifene HCI), manufactured by Eli Lilly, is for treating and preventing osteoporosis. Evista earned $1.3 billion in global sales in 2010.

Sandostatin LAR (octreotide acetate for injectable suspension) by Novartis, is for the treatment of acromegaly syndrome, a hormonal disorder, and severe diarrhea and flushing associated with metastatic cancers. Global sales were $1.3 billion in 2010.

Actonel (risedronate) is for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. In 2010, worldwide sales were $1.6 billion. Actonel is manufactured by Warner Chilcott.

Here is a link to a long list of drugs that will go generic in the near future.  The date of the generic launch is in the last column.

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