Brand-name Stelara (ustekinumab) is considered a "biologic" medicine; this means that it is regulated under different laws than most other medications. These rules currently do not allow for generic versions of Stelara to be made. However, it is likely that these laws will change in the not-too-distant future and generic versions of drugs like Stelara will be available.
Can I Buy Generic Stelara?Stelara® (ustekinumab) is a prescription medication that belongs to a group of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies. It is approved for treating plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in adults. The medicine is injected just under the skin (subcutaneously) and is administered by a healthcare provider.
Stelara is manufactured by Cilag AG for Centocor Ortho Biotech, Inc. Technically, Stelara is considered a "biologic" and is, therefore, under different rules and laws than most other medications. At this point, current laws and regulations do not allow for generic biologics, including generic Stelara, to be made.
When Will Generic Stelara Be Available?This is a difficult question to answer. Unless the laws and rules are changed, generic Stelara may never be available. However, it is likely that these rules and laws will be changed in the future. At this time, it is impossible to predict when a generic version may be available.
Is Ustekinumab a Generic Stelara?No -- ustekinumab is the active ingredient in Stelara, but is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that oftentimes, the active ingredient of any drug is referred to as the "generic name."
The generic name is different from a generic version of a medicine. In order for there to be a generic version of a medicine, the original medicine must have gone off-patent, and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.