Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors are warned not to prescribe generic pregabalin for pain control

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 30 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1724
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Doctors have been warned against prescribing generic pregabalin for pain control and instead told to prescribe Lyrica (Pfizer, New York) by brand. Failing to do so may leave them open to litigation, both the BMA and NHS England have warned.

The patent for Lyrica that expired in July 2014 only related to its use for epilepsy and generalised anxiety disorder. The manufacturer, Warner-Lambert (a subsidiary of Pfizer), still holds a “second medical use” patent for the use of pregabalin in the treatment of peripheral and central neuropathic pain, which expires in July 2017. A second medical use patent is one that relates to a new medical use for a known compound.

So despite being the same as the branded version, generic versions of pregabalin have been …

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