Is a Generic Version of Dysport Available?
) is one of a few botulinum toxin type A
products available. It is approved to treat facial lines between the eyebrows, as well as spasms of the head and neck (cervical dystonia).
Dysport is made by Ipsen Biopharm, Ltd., and is marketed and distributed by Tercica, Inc., and Medicis Aesthetics, Inc.
Technically, Dysport is considered a "biologic" medication, and is, therefore, under different rules and laws than most other medications. At this point, generic biologics, including generic Dysport, are not allowed to be made. However, the laws are changing, and it is likely that generic biologics will be permitted in the near future.
It should be noted that Dysport is not a generic version of Botox®
(or the other way around). These drugs are similar, but are not equivalent or interchangeable.
Understanding Biologics and Generics
When the patents for regular drugs expire, other manufacturers can apply to make generic versions. These companies need to submit a little information proving that their product is equivalent to the brand-name drug, but they do not have to repeat all of the human studies to show the drug to be safe and effective. Human studies are expensive and time-consuming, and generic medications are less expensive because they do not need all the human studies.
However, biologics (medications made using live cells or organisms, also known as "biopharmaceuticals") are regulated under a different set of laws. Under these laws, there is no way for a generic biologic to be approved, unless the generic manufacturer completes all of the human studies necessary to approve a brand-new drug.
Because such studies are extremely expensive, it is likely that a generic biologic would not be any less expensive than the brand-name product. Essentially, if a generic biologic were to be approved, it would not really be a generic version, but a new and separate drug that would not be equivalent to the brand-name product.
However, recent legislation is aimed at changing these laws. New laws and regulations will likely allow the production of generic biologics in the near future.