Although the first patent for Vigamox (moxifloxacin eye drops) expired in June 2012, no generic versions are available yet. The drug's next patent is set to expire in September 2014. Moxifloxacin is the active ingredient in Vigamox -- it is not a generic form of the drug.
Can I Buy Generic Vigamox?
Vigamox® (moxifloxacin eye drops) is a prescription eye drop used to treat bacterial pink eye (known medically as bacterial conjunctivitis). It belongs to a group of medications known as fluoroquinolones and is approved for use in individuals as young as one year of age.
This medicine is made by Alcon Laboratories, Inc. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Vigamox from being manufactured in the United States.
When Will Generic Vigamox Be Available?
The first patent for Vigamox expired in June 2012. Yet, no generics are available at this time. This suggests that at least one later-expiring patent is still protecting the drug from generic competition. The next patent for Vigamox is set to expire in September 2014. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version of Vigamox could become available.
However, other circumstances could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for new Vigamox uses.
Once the patent expires, several companies will likely begin manufacturing a generic Vigamox drug.
Are Moxifloxacin Eye Drops a Generic Vigamox?
No -- moxifloxacin is the active ingredient in Vigamox (as well as in Avelox®, another antibiotic taken by mouth or by IV), but is not a generic version of it. This can be confusing, because the active ingredient of any drug is often referred to as the "generic name."
The generic name is different from a generic version of a medicine. In order for there to be a generic version of a medicine, the original medicine must have gone off-patent and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Vigamox [package insert]. Fort Worth, TX: Alcon Laboratories, Inc.;2008 April.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 28, 2012.
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