As of this month, generic finasteride pills are now available in the US for the first time ever - offered exclusively for the next six months as 'Finasteride Tablets' (1 mg) by Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., a Hyderabad, India-based pharmaceutical company. Read about it here.
For men with hair loss, the allure of cheaper, generic finasteride pills may be hard to resist - but before you ask your doctor for a scrip, there are a few cons to consider: IMHO, the generic may have inconsistent quality, lower efficacy, fluctuating results, different side effects from the brand-name drug, and more.
In my practice, I will encourage patients to stick with Propecia, the original brand-name drug for finasteride. It is more expensive, but in my opinion the quality is better than what one can expect with a generic equivalent.
Why is a generic equivalent suddenly available? Merck & Co.'s patent on finasteride (FDA-approved for male pattern hair loss) has officially expired, allowing for generic equivalents to enter the market. The FDA awarded Dr. Reddy's a 180-period of marketing exclusivity for generic finasteride in the U.S., beginning January 2, 2013.
For more information, visit the Dr. Reddy's site: www.drreddys.com.