A patent currently prevents any generic Spiriva from being manufactured in the United States. While companies may claim to sell it online, these drugs may be substandard and potentially dangerous. The earliest that generic Spiriva could become available is in 2014, when the first patent expires.
Spiriva® (tiotropium bromide) is a prescription medication used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is part of a class of asthma drugs known as anticholinergics or antimuscarinics.
Spiriva is manufactured jointly by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer, Inc. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Spiriva from being manufactured in the United States. Yet, if you search the Internet for "generic Spiriva," you may find a number of companies selling it. The fact is that these medicines may be fake, substandard, and potentially dangerous. Generic Spiriva may be available from another country, but there is really no way of knowing if you are getting genuine Spiriva or not. You should not buy any generic versions of Spiriva until there is an approved version available.
The first patent for the drug currently expires in March 2014. This is the earliest that a generic version of Spiriva could become available. However, other circumstances could come up to extend the exclusivity period beyond 2014. This could include such things as other patents for specific Spiriva uses or lawsuits. Once the patent expires, several companies will likely begin manufacturing generic Spiriva.
No -- tiotropium bromide is the active ingredient in Spiriva, but is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of any 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.