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). It is administered intravenously once every month for RA or PIJA, or once every two weeks for SIJA.
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.