Drug Patents Expiring in 2020

Drug Patents Expiring in 2021 | Ken’s Capsule

It’s almost always cheaper to opt for a generic medication instead of a brand medication. However, generic medications aren’t always an option for drugs whose patent hasn’t expired yet. Pharmaceutical companies use patents to protect their R&D investment and try to maintain the exclusivity period as long as possible.


But that doesn’t mean you’re trapped with a brand drug. Patent terms for brand drugs expire every year, which means a more affordable option might be right around the corner.


First Ask: Does Your Brand Drug Have A Generic Equivalent or Alternative?  


When a patent expires, generic drug makers can enter the market with an equivalent generic alternative. These medications must meet strict FDA guidelines and must have the identical active ingredients and strengths as the originator drug. 


So how do you know if your brand prescription’s patent is on the verge of expiring?


The easiest way to do this is to search for your brand name medication patent expiration date.



Why take the time to search? After a generic equivalent comes out, you can expect the price of the generic to be 15-25% less than the brand drug. After 6 months and multiple generics makers have launched equivalent generics, the price should drop another 20-50%!


Biggest Brand Name Patents Expiring  In 2021


When it comes to the biggest patent expirations in 2021, we’ve already done the hard work for you. Below are the most popular drugs that will be receiving a generic alternative in 2021.



Brand prescription name: Toviaz 
Generic name: Fesoterodine 
What it treats: Over active bladder and incontinence
Expected savings per month: TBD
When the generic gets released: First half of 2021


Brand prescription name: Forteo 
Generic name: Teriparatide
What it treats: Osteoporosis
Expected savings per month: potential savings up to 50%
When the generic gets released: Between January and March 2021


Brand prescription name: Forteo 
Generic name: Lubiprostone 
What it treats: Constipation and irritable bowel syndrome
Expected savings per month: TBD
When the generic gets released: January 2021


Brand prescription name: Northera
Generic name: Droxidopa 
What it treats: Low blood pressure
Expected savings per month: TBD
When the generic gets released: February 2021


Other Ways To Save On Your Prescriptions


Check out our article 7 Insider Tips To Save Big On Prescription Drugs for some easy, quick techniques you can use the next time you go to fill a prescription. 


Generic Alternatives


If your brand name drug doesn’t have an exact match generic, look for generic “alternatives” within your medication drug class. A drug class is the broader category your prescription falls into. For example, Beta Blockers which treat heart disease, ACE Inhibitors which treat high blood pressure, or Lipid Regulators which treat high cholesterol. This can be a potential savings discussion with your physician with regards to a therapeutic alternative. 


Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist


Ask your pharmacist about alternative medications or any potential savings that they may know of for a particular medication or class of drugs.


Remember, don’t be afraid to actually discuss your physician’s medication choice for you. It can be a great savings to you, and enjoy your new collaborative relationship with your physician. Every time you ask questions, you take another step closer to being in control of your health care. 


ken rose

Ken Rose, RPh

Ken is a multidisciplinary pharmacist, with over thirty eight years’ experience within Pharmacy and the Managed Care industries. He is a pharmacy savings gurus—helping people with all the ways they get their medicine: mail, retail, and hospital pharmacy, clinical programs, specialty pharmacy and health plans. 

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