Because Actemra (tocilizumab) is considered a "biologic" medication, it is subject to rules that prevent any generic versions from being manufactured. It's likely that these rules will be changed in the future. However, because it is unknown when these rules will be changed, and because Actemra would still probably be protected by patents, it's impossible to estimate when a generic version could become available.
Can I Buy Generic Actemra?Actemra® (tocilizumab) is a prescription medication approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic idiopathic juvenile arthritis (SIJA), and polyarticular idiopathic juvenile arthritis (PIJA).
Actemra is manufactured by Genentech, Inc. Technically, Actemra is considered a "biologic" medication, and is therefore under different rules than most other medications. At this time, current laws and regulations do not allow for generic biologics, including generic Actemra, to be manufactured.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
This is a difficult question to answer. Although new laws have cleared a path for the possibility of generic biologics, there is still quite a bit of rulemaking to be done.
However, even once all the official business of allowing generic biologics is completed, it is likely that Actemra will still be protected from generic competition by patents. It is not exactly clear when the patents expire, as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not yet list applicable patents for biologics, as it does for other medications.
Is Tocilizumab a Generic Actemra?No -- tocilizumab is the active ingredient in Actemra, but it is not a generic version of Actemra. 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 would make the product.