June 24, 2008 -- The birth control pill Yasmin is about to get a generic version, and a generic version of the oral contraceptive Yaz is also in the works.
That news comes from Bayer, the drug company that makes Yasmin and Yaz, and Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., which will market generic Yasmin and Yaz solely in the U.S.
Yasmin and Yaz differ slightly in their dose.
Generic Yasmin will launch on or before July 1, 2008. Generic Yaz is expected on July 1, 2011.
Generic drugs typically cost less than brand-name drugs. Barr Pharmaceuticals spokesperson Carol Cox tells WebMD by email that while the company doesn't disclose prices for any of its products, "they certainly sell at a discount to the brand and those with insurance will pay a generic co-pay."
Barr had challenged Bayer's patent on Yasmin in court. In March, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey invalidated Bayer's patent on Yasmin, paving the way for generic Yasmin.
The FDA approved Barr Pharmaceuticals' generic Yasmin application in May, notes Cox.
Bayer and Barr have reached an agreement under which Bayer will supply Barr with an authorized generic version of Yasmin by July 1, at the latest, in exchange for a fixed percentage of the revenues from the sales of generic Yasmin.