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Generic Menomune

At this time, Menomune (meningococcal vaccine) is not available in generic form. It is classified as a "biologic" medication, which means that certain laws prevent generic versions from being made. However, these laws could change in the future, allowing for the production of generic versions. Other meningococcal vaccines are available, but they are not interchangeable with Menomune.

Is a Generic Version of Menomune Available?

Menomune® (meningococcal vaccine) is approved for use in people age two and older. There are two meningococcal vaccines; this one is the older version and is generally not preferred, except for people over the age of 55 and in situations when the newer vaccine (Menactra®) is unavailable.
Menomune provides protection against invasive meningococcal diseases, such as bacterial meningitis, and is made by Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. There are currently no generic versions of Menomune. The other meningococcal vaccines available (Menactra, also made by Sanofi Pasteur, and Menveo®, made by Novartis) are not interchangeable with Menomune.
Technically, Menomune is considered a "biologic" medication and is, therefore, under different rules and laws than most other medications. At this point, generic biologics, including generic Menomune, are not allowed to be made. However, the laws are changing, and it is likely that generic biologics will be permitted in the near future.

Understanding Biologics and Generics

When the patents for regular drugs expire, other manufacturers can apply to make generic versions. These companies need to submit a little information proving that their product is equivalent to the brand-name drug, but they do not have to repeat all of the human studies to show the drug to be safe and effective.
Human studies are expensive and time-consuming, and generic medications are less expensive because they do not need all the human studies.
However, biologics (medications made using live cells or organisms, also known as "biopharmaceuticals") are regulated under a different set of laws. Under these laws, there is no way for a generic biologic to be approved, unless the generic manufacturer completes all of the human studies necessary to approve a brand-new drug.
Because such studies are extremely expensive, it is likely that a generic biologic would not be any less expensive than the brand-name product. Essentially, if a generic biologic were to be approved, it would not really be a generic, but a new and separate drug that would not be equivalent to the brand-name product.
However, recent legislation is aimed at changing these laws. It is predicted that new laws and regulations will allow generic biologics in the near future.
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Menomune Vaccine Information

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