Generic Naftin

Although all of the patents for Naftin (naftifine) have expired, there are no generic versions available at this time. This may be because of certain exclusivity rights that still apply to the higher-strength form. It is also possible that this medicine is not in high enough demand for it to be profitable for a company to make a generic Naftin product.

Can I Buy Generic Naftin?

Naftin® (naftifine) is a prescription skin medication approved for the treatment of athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm. It comes in the form of a cream or gel. It also comes in two strengths: an older 1% cream and gel, and a newer 2% cream. The advantage of using the higher-strength version is that treatment is half as long (two weeks instead of four).
 
Naftin is made by Merz Pharmaceuticals, LLC. It is not yet available in generic form.
 

When Will a Generic Version Be Available?

There are no patents protecting Naftin from generic competition. The higher-strength cream (2%) may be protected by exclusivity rights, which are not quite the same as patents, that expire in January 2015. These types of exclusivity rights, granted for developing a new strength or formulation, sometimes, but not always, protect against generic competition.
 
For the lower-strength (1%) cream and gel, there is no obvious reason why generic versions are not yet available. Perhaps, the market for this product is too small to entice generic competition.
 

Is Naftifine a Generic Naftin?

No -- naftifine is the active ingredient in Naftin, but is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that the active ingredient of a drug is often referred to as the "generic name." In particular, many healthcare providers, most medical journals, and even some pharmacies refer to all medications by their generic names, regardless of whether or not a generic version is available. This can sometimes be confusing to people who are unaware of this practice.
 
The generic name is different from a generic version of a medicine. In order for there to be a generic version, the original medicine must have gone off-patent and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.
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