As is the case with other vaccines, no generic versions of Kinrix are available at this time. Currently, laws prevent "biologics" (including vaccines) from being manufactured in generic form because, technically, it would not be a generic version. However, it is predicted that new proposed laws and regulations will change this in the near future.
Is a Generic Version of Kinrix Available?
Kinrix® (DTaP and IPV) is combination vaccine. It combines DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine) and the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). It is a booster vaccine given as a single dose to children four to six years of age.
Kinrix is made by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals. There are currently no generic versions of Kinrix.
Technically, vaccines are considered "biologic" medications and are, therefore, under different rules and laws than most other medications. At this point, generic biologics (including generic Kinrix) are not allowed to be made. However, the laws are changing, and it is likely that generic versions will be permitted in the near future.
Understanding Biologics and Generics
When the patents for regular drugs expire, other manufacturers can apply to make generic versions. These companies need to submit a little information proving that their product is equivalent to the brand-name drug, but they do not have to repeat all of the human studies to show the drug to be safe and effective.
Human studies are expensive and time-consuming, and generic medications are less expensive because they do not need all of the human studies.
However, biologics (medications made using live cells or organisms, also known as "biopharmaceuticals") are regulated under a different set of laws. Under these laws, there is no way for a generic biologic to be approved, unless the generic manufacturer completes all of the human studies necessary to approve a brand-new drug.
Because such studies are extremely expensive, it is likely that a generic biologic would not be any less expensive than the brand-name product. Essentially, if a generic biologic were to be approved, it would not really be a generic version, but a new and separate drug that would not be equivalent to the brand-name product.
However, recent legislation is aimed at changing these laws. It is predicted that new laws and regulations will allow generic biologics to be manufactured, including generic Kinrix.