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Generic Arcalyst

Because Arcalyst (rilonacept) is made using live cells, it is considered a "biologic" medicine. Because it is a biologic product, it falls under different regulations than most other prescription medications. These laws prevent manufacturers from making generic versions of biologic products. Although these laws are changing, a generic Arcalyst may not be available any time soon, as it is also protected by certain patents.

Can I Buy Generic Arcalyst?

Arcalyst® (rilonacept) is a prescription medication used to treat adults and children at least 12 years of age who have a rare genetic condition known as cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS). It is an interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) blocker.
Arcalyst is manufactured by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. As a "biologic" medication, Arcalyst is under different rules and laws than most other prescription medicines. At this time, it is not available in a generic version.

What Is a Biologic?

Biologics are medications made using live cells or organisms. The living cells or organisms are used to produce complex proteins or molecules, which are then used to make products such as medicines, vaccines, blood products, and gene therapies. Arcalyst is a protein made from hamster cells.

When Will a Generic Version Be Available?

Because biologics are so complex, it can be difficult for a generic manufacturer to make an identical version of a biologic product already on the market. For this reason, previous regulations did not allow generic versions of biologics to be made. However, the regulations are currently changing, and generic biologics are expected to be available in the near future.
Even with changing regulations, it may be some time before a generic Arcalyst becomes available. First, the medication was approved in February 2008, and will likely be protected from generic competition by patents for quite some time. Second, even when patents no longer protect the medication, a generic manufacturer will have to decide to make a generic Arcalyst product.
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