Breast Cancer Home > Generic Gemzar

The cancer medication Gemzar is now available in both brand-name and generic form. The generic versions are sold by Hospira, Inc., Sandoz, Inc., and APP Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All generic versions have an "AP" rating, which means the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers them equivalent to brand-name Gemzar.

An Overview of Generic Gemzar

Gemzar® (gemcitabine) is a prescription medication used to treat various types of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and pancreatic cancer. It is part of a group of chemotherapy medications called antimetabolites.
Brand-name Gemzar is made by Eli Lilly. However, the patent for Gemzar expired in November 2010, and the medication is now also available in generic form.

Who Makes Generic Gemzar?

Generic gemcitabine is sold by various manufacturers, such as:
  • APP Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Hospira, Inc.
  • Sandoz, Inc.
The generic version sold by Sandoz, Inc., is actually made by Eli Lilly (the maker of brand-name Gemzar) and is therefore an "authorized generic." It is exactly the same as the brand-name version in every way, except that it is sold under a generic name by a generic manufacturer.

Is Generic Gemcitabine as Good as Gemzar?

All generic medications must undergo certain tests to compare them to brand-name medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then looks at these tests to decide if the generics are equivalent to the brand-name medications and assigns a rating to each one.
An "AP" rating means that the FDA has determined that a generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name medication. All of the generic gemcitabine versions currently available have an "AP" rating, meaning they should be equivalent to Gemzar.
However, generic medications are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication. This might include fillers, dyes, or other ingredients that may cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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