Generic ARVs

A generic drug is one that is manufactured by a different pharmaceutical company to the company that invented the medicine.

Generic drugs are widely used in all countries.

In the UK about 60% to 85% of all NHS prescriptions are for generic drugs.

The percentage varies depending on whether this is based on number of prescriptions or overall cost of drugs. This includes medicines for heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, statins to lower cholesterol, pain relief, cancer and now HIV.

Generic medicines contain the same active ingredients as the original drugs.

Generic combination pills are also widely used in low income countries, even when patents are still in place in high-income countries.

Generic drugs are also widely used in high-income countries after the patents end.

There are many generic versions of tenofovir DF (TD), lamivudine (3TC) and dolutegravir coformulated into a single pill (TLD). These include Acriptega, Dovimil, Emdolten, Lanograv, Lavern, Luvigen, Milutin, Nuvaco, Odystra, Ranega, Reydin, Telado, Telatri, Temiv, Tladeez, Viripil and Volutrip. See this website for generics in South Africa. These versions are not available yet in high-income countries where dolutegravir is still in patent.

Widely used generic versions of TLD include:

Commercial drug name Generic manufacturer
Acriptega, Odystra, Ranega Mylan Pharma
Dovimil, Luvigen, Milutin Hetero Pharma
Emdolten Aspen Pharma
Kovatrax McCleods Pharma
Lanograv, Telatri Ranbaxy Drugs
Lavern, Temiv Emcure Pharma
Nuvaco AI Pharma
Reydin, Telado Cipla Pharma
Tladeez Kiara Health
Volutrip Aurobindo
Vonavir * Emcure

* Some generic versions of TLD  include emtricitabine (FTC) instead of lamivudine, (i.e. Vonavir). These combinations are just as good. FTC and 3TC are very similar medicines.

The first generic version of Biktarvy is made by Hetero Pharma with a brand name Taffic. This is another integrase-based FDC. It includes tenofovir AF, lamivudine (3TC) and bictegravir. Other companies are likely to produce versions later.

Generic versions of Atripla include the same active ingredients – efavirenz plus emtricitabine plus tenofovir-DF.

Widely used generic versions of Atripla include:

Commercial drug name Generic manufacturer
Atenef Sonke Pharma
Atreslawin Winthrop Pharma
Atroiza Mylan Pharma
Citenvir Novagen Pharma
Heftenam Hetero Drugs
Odimune Cipla Pharma
Rizene AI Pharma
Teevir Mylan Pharma
Trenvir Cipla Pharma
Tribuss Aspen Pharma
Triemta Macleods Pharma
Triolar Macleods Pharma
Trivage ?
Trivenz Ai Pharama
Truno Aurobindo
Trustiva Hetero Healthcare
Viraday Cipla

All these combination pills contain the same active ingredients as Atripla and are just as safe and effective.

Generic versions of Atripla that use lamivudine (3TC) instead of emtricitabine (FTC) include: Avonza (Mylan), Tenarenz (Aspen Pharma) and Eflaten.

Generic versions of Truvada include Adco-Entevir (made by Adcok-Ingram), Tenvir-EM (made by Cipla), Ricovir-EM (Mylan), Telura (Mylan Pharma) and Tenemine. These medicines contain tenofovir-DF plus emtricitabine and are used as PrEP by HIV negative people to protect against HIV infection. It is legal in the UK to import generic medicines for personal use, even if the patent on the brand medicine has not yet expired.

Generic versions of Kivexa include Dumiva and Rilovia (made by Mylan) and Heteruam (Lupin).

Although not a generic, Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) is called Aluvia in many countries.

Generic versions of nevirapine include Brinoprin (Hetero Pharma), Nevir (Forrester Pharma), Nevivir (Activo Health), Viropon (Novagen Pharma) and many generics also called Nevirapine.

Rather than using the brand name, look for the list of active ingredients. This is usually in smaller text on the box or leaflet that comes with your meds.

This website in South Africa has a good search engine for looking for generic versions of many different medicines. For example, this include different antibiotics, as well as HIV meds.