Breast Cancer Home > Generic Perjeta

As a type of "biologic" medicine, Perjeta (pertuzumab) is made using living cells and is classified under a different set of regulations than most other prescription drugs. These laws currently prevent any generic biologic products, including a generic Perjeta, from being manufactured. However, these laws are starting to change, and a company may be able to eventually make a generic Perjeta product.

Can I Buy Generic Perjeta?

Perjeta™ (pertuzumab) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer. It is part of a group of medications called monoclonal antibodies.
 
Perjeta is manufactured by Genentech, Inc. Technically, it is a "biologic" medication and is therefore under different rules and regulations than most other prescription medications. In the past, biologic products were largely protected from generic competition. However, regulations are changing to allow generic manufacturers to make versions of biologics.
 

Understanding Biologic Medications

Biologics are medications made from living cells or organisms. These living cells or organisms are used to produce complex proteins or molecules, which are then used to make medical products, such as medicines, vaccines, or blood products. Perjeta is a biologic because it is an antibody (a protein normally made by the immune system) made from Chinese hamster ovary cells.
 
Because biologics are made with living cells rather than chemically created like most other prescription medicines, it is not possible for a generic manufacturer to make an identical version of a brand-name biologic product already on the market. Therefore, generic biologics are sometimes called "biosimilars" or "follow-on biologics." Biosimilars are products that are similar enough to a brand-name biologic to have the same effects in the body.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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