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Because Herceptin is considered a "biologic" medication, it is under different rules and laws than most other medications. As a result, generic Herceptin is not available and cannot be manufactured until these laws and rules are changed. However, it is likely that these laws will be changed in the future.

Generic Herceptin: An Overview

Herceptin® (trastuzumab) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer and stomach cancer. It is part of a group of medications called monoclonal antibodies.
Herceptin is manufactured by Genentech, Inc. Technically, Herceptin is considered to be a "biologic" medication, and is therefore under different rules and laws than most other medications. At this point, generic biologics, including generic Herceptin, are not allowed to be manufactured.

When Will Generic Herceptin Be Available?

This is a difficult question. Unless the laws and rules are changed, generic Herceptin may never be available. However, it is likely that these rules and laws will be changed in the future.

Is Trastuzumab a Generic Herceptin?

No, it isn't. Trastuzumab is the active ingredient in Herceptin, but it is not a generic version of Herceptin. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of a drug is referred to as the "generic name." The generic name is different than 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) would make the product.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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