What’s the Difference Between Generic & Brand Name Suboxone?

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Price is the main difference between generic and brand-name Suboxone. If you can access a generic version, you'll likely save money. Both generic and brand Suboxone contain the exact same FDA-approved ingredients, so you won't sacrifice quality in return. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducts strict reviews before companies can begin making generic versions of known drugs.[1] The FDA also inspects manufacturing plants often to ensure that the companies follow the rules and produce safe medications.

If you're using generic Suboxone, you're taking safe medication. Here's what you should know about what sets generic vs brand Suboxone. 

How Long Has the Generic Form of Suboxone Been Available?


“Suboxone” is the brand name for Buprenorphine-Naloxone (the generic name). The first Suboxone tablets/strips were FDA approved in 2002 [2] In 2018, the first generic strips were approved.[4] Now people can use either brand name or generic versions of this medication. 

Comparing Generic Strips vs. Suboxone Strips 


Generic versions of Suboxone come in strips/films or in tablet forms. Both versions dissolve when placed under the tongue or on the inside of the cheek. 

What Are the Benefits of Using Generic Suboxone?


The major benefit of using generic Suboxone is the cost. The average cost of a 30-day supply of brand-name Suboxone is $150. Generic versions are more like $40.[5] Most insurances will only pay for the generic form, because it has been proven to be equally effective and contain the exact same ingredients as the brand. Therefore, if you insist on using the brand, your insurance may not pay for it, and you may have to pay out of pocket which can be much more expensive. 

In general, generic and brand forms of Suboxone are identical in their ability to treat OUD. 

SOURCES

  1. Generic Drug Facts. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/generic-drugs/generic-drug-facts. November 2021. Accessed October 2022. 
  2. FDA Approves First Generic Suboxone for Maintenance Treatment of Opioid Dependence. Drug Topics. https://www.drugtopics.com/view/fda-approves-first-generic-suboxone-maintenance-treatment-opioid-drug-dependence. February 2013. Accessed October 2022. 
  3. Mylan Scores FDA Approval of Generic Suboxone for Opioid Addiction, But a Strong Launch Is No Sure Bet. Fierce Pharma. https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/mylan-scores-fda-approval-generic-suboxone-for-opioid-addiction-but-a-strong-launch-no-sure. June 2018. Accessed October 2022. 
  4. FDA Approves First Generic Version of Suboxone for Opioid Dependence. AJMC. https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/mylan-scores-fda-approval-generic-suboxone-for-opioid-addiction-but-a-strong-launch-no-sure. June 2018. Accessed October 2022.
  5. Zubsolv Prices/Suboxone Prices. Pharmacy Checker. https://www.pharmacychecker.com/buprenorphine-naloxone/2%252f0.5+mg%252fmg/#!. Accessed October 2022. 

Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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