As of now, there is no generic version of Champix available on the market, with the only form of this stop smoking medicine being the branded version, produced and marketed by Pfizer pharmaceutical company. The absence of generic Champix medicine is not indicative of low interest in manufacturing this medicine (or lack of financial benefits of that enterprise), on the contrary, the demand for Champix is unwavering, but the original patent has not yet expired. Due to this, pharmaceutical companies are forbidden from manufacturing generic versions. Aside from the version known and familiar to Europeans, Champix is also available as Chantix (in the US).
What’s on this page?
If you came across an offer to buy generic Champix online, the website is probably a scam, as generic Champix doesn’t exist on the market. Any company claiming to sell it is either trying to make profit out of fake advertisement or is selling a counterfeit version of this stop smoking medicines.
Counterfeit medicines are especially dangerous and should be avoided since they have not been clinically tested and there is no guarantee that they don’t contain a number of potentially harmful ingredients, just like there is no guarantee that they contain the active ingredient of the original at all.
In this article, we will shortly explore the dangers of buying so-called generic Champix online from unknown sources. We will try to provide you with the info needed to avoid buying fake or counterfeit versions and that will help you obtain the real and working version of this medicine.
What is generic Champix?
At the moment, there is no such thing as generic Champix, since the branded version of varenicline-based stop smoking medicine is still under patent, as it has been since 2006 when it was first authorised for sale in Europe by European Medicines Agency. But, how do patents work in the pharmaceutical industry?
When a pharmaceutical company first begins the development of a certain medicine, it will at the same time apply for a patent (in most cases). By doing this, the company ensures that nobody else can legally produce that specific medicine for that specific purpose under the chosen brand name. However, patents of this kind are not permanent, but on the contrary – limited to a particular timeframe.
While most patents last for around 20 years, the reason why some medicines seem to go generic much earlier than others is that the patent becomes valid from the beginning of the development. And in the medical industry, it is not that uncommon for a product to become available in the open market as much as 10 to 15 years after the initial beginning of the development.
This can be either due to prolonged process of developing and perfecting the medicine or due to delays or unforeseen delays in the clinical trial phase. Whatever the exact reason, for many medicines, the patent can expire relatively shortly after they appeared on the market. At that point, the pharmaceutical company behind the medicine can apply to extend a patent.
Once the patent has expired on any given medicine, other pharmaceutical companies can legally produce it. However, in order to obtain the licence for marketing and selling the generic medicine, pharmaceutical company developing it will have to provide the proof of bioequivalence. This means that the generic version must contain the same active ingredient, in the same concentration for the treatment of same conditions with the same success rate and same potential side effects.
So, when patent on Champix expires, pharmaceutical companies other than Pfizer will be able to produce stop smoking medicines based on varenicline, marketing and selling them under different name – most likely Varenicline, since naming generic medicines after the active ingredient of the branded version is a very common practice in the medical industry.
Is it safe for me to buy Champix online?
Yes, it is possible to legally and safely purchase Champix online. In fact, with the ever-growing prevalence of online clinics, buying medicines online is now much, much more common than before, but also safer. You can now easily identify certified online clinics and pharmacies by looking for the GPhC logo on the website which will, when clicked, lead you to the company’s entry on the Council’s register.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that Champix is a prescription-only medicine, so a certified online clinic will sell you Champix only if you already have a valid e-prescription or after you obtain one through some of the common means that include online consultations with a doctor or filling in a customized questionnaire. Any website offering you to buy Champix without prescription is operating outside the law and as such it should be avoided.
Are generic medicines unsafe?
No, legally produced generic medicines will be absolutely identical to the original version in every aspect except for the name and the packaging. In addition to this, generic medicines will have to be tested and approved by either MHRA or EMA in order to be legally sold. Any generic medicine that hasn’t been tested and approved by these relevant institutions is most likely a fake.
There are several reasons to avoid fake or counterfeit versions of Champix (or any other drug):
- They might contain harmful ingredients
- They might not contain the required active ingredient
- They most likely haven’t been properly tested and as such can be unsafe
How can I recognize genuine Champix?
Real branded version of Champix can, as of now, be legally produced only by Pfizer pharmaceutical company, so the packaging with Pfizer logo and all the relevant info on that company should be the first indicator. In addition to this, the tablets are manufacturer in just two very specific doses – 0.5mg, marked with Pfizer logo and text ‘CHX 0.5’ and 1mg which have the letters ‘CHX 1.0’ on the in addition to the recognizable logo. Branded patient information leaflet should also be included.