Although the first exclusivity rights for Creon (pancrelipase) have expired, no generic versions are available. This suggests that other exclusivity rights, which are set to expire in April 2014, are protecting the medication from generic competition.
Can I Buy Generic Creon?
Creon® (pancrelipase) is a prescription medication approved to treat pancreatic enzyme deficiency. It is taken by mouth with each meal and snack.
Creon is made by Abbott Laboratories. It is protected from generic competition by exclusivity rights that have yet to expire. Exclusivity rights are similar to patents.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
The first exclusivity rights for Creon expired in April 2013 and July 2013, yet no generic version became available. This suggests that other exclusivity rights, set to expire later, may still be providing protection against generic competition. The next exclusivity rights are set to expire in April 2014. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version could become available.
However, other circumstances could come up to extend or shorten this exclusivity period. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for new Creon uses. Once the exclusivity rights expire, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic Creon drug.
Is Pancrelipase a Generic Creon?
No -- pancrelipase is the active ingredient in Creon, not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that the active ingredient of a 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, the original medicine must have gone off-patent and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.
There are a few other brand-name pancrelipase drugs, but they are not directly interchangeable. Different pancrelipase products have different mixtures of the various enzymes.