Breast Cancer Home > Generic Tykerb

There is currently a patent in place that prevents any generic Tykerb products from being manufactured in the United States. When the patent expires in July 2017, a number of drug companies may begin manufacturing a generic version of the medicine. However, circumstances could arise to delay the production of generic Tykerb, such as lawsuits or other patents for specific Tykerb uses.

Generic Tykerb: An Overview

Tykerb® (lapatinib) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer. It is approved to be used in combination with Xeloda® (capecitabine) or Femara® (letrozole). Tykerb is part of a group of medications known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Tykerb is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Tykerb from being manufactured in the United States.

When Will Generic Tykerb Be Available?

Pfizer holds the exclusive rights to market Tykerb until at least July 2017. This is the earliest possible date that a generic version of the drug could become available. However, circumstances could extend this exclusivity period beyond 2017. This could include such things as other patents for specific Tykerb uses or lawsuits. Once the patent expires, several companies could begin to manufacture a generic version of Tykerb.

Is Lapatinib a Generic Tykerb?

No -- lapatinib is the active ingredient in Tykerb, but is not a generic version of it. 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 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.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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