The wait is finally over as Indivior (the makers of the trade name Suboxone film) lost their legal battle with Dr. Reddy's Laboratories SA in preventing them from manufacturing a generic version of the Suboxone film. I wrote a prior post about this topic a few months ago and until a few weeks ago there still was no generic Buprenorphine-naloxone film on the market. However, it appears that several different drug companies have resumed production of the film and pharmacies are now able to order it although many pharmacies still don't have any on stock since the product is so new. The new generic Suboxone film will come in several different strengths including a 2-0.5 mg, 4-1 mg, 8-2 mg, and 12-3 mg dosage similar to the trade name Suboxone film. As of now it appears there are 3 companies that have been granted approval to manufacture the new generic film including Alvogen Pine Brook, Dr. Reddy's Labs SA, and Mylan Technologies although I'm sure more will follow.
What Does This Mean For Patients
In general this is good news for patients since the generic Suboxone film should be much cheaper than the traditional trade name film giving patients more options. Until now, the only generic versions of Suboxone came in the tablet form which many patients had an aversion to for various reasons including mild reasons such as taste and perceived lack of efficacy to more severe reasons such as intractable nausea and vomiting or anaphylaxis. However, because the Buprenorphine-naloxone tablet was the only generic form available many insurances including Medicaid would only pay for this form so patients didn't have a choice in the matter. Now that there is a generic Suboxone film most insurance companies will cover both versions giving patients the option to choose between the two. What is also great about the approval of the generic film is that this form is much easier to dose when it comes to tapering since there are more available strengths and it is easier to cut the film into precise pieces. Many patients have been hindered in their tapering process because they have been stuck dealing with the tablet form until now.
The only downside that I have encountered is that because there is a cheaper generic Buprenorphine-naloxone film available, most insurances have no reason to pay for the more expensive trade name version anymore. As a result, even patients who have private insurance through their workplace or through the marketplace are now being forced to switch to the generic Suboxone film even though their insurance was paying for the trade name film before without any issues. Technically both versions have the same active ingredients and patients should not notice much of a difference between the two but some are already reporting a noticeable difference. However, these patients still say that the generic Suboxone film is much more tolerable than the generic Buprenorphine-naloxone tablet so this is still a win for patients.