Most people who have had the misfortune to wake up to the severe pain of a gout attack are grateful that there are ways they can alleviate the pain and swelling. An important treatment option for gout attacks is taking a drug known as colchicine (Colcrys).
- See: Gout Symptoms
Now there's good news for those who take colchicine or may need to in the future: It's available in the U.S. in its generic form again, making it much more affordable for consumers.
For decades, colchicine has been used very effectively to treat gout attacks. Until a decade ago, it cost about 10 cents per pill. But in 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required manufacturers to gain approval for the drug in response to safety concerns.
- Learn more: Gout Treatment
In 2009, the pharmaceutical company Takeda gained approval to bring colchicine back to market. However, the approval process expenses, combined with a lack of competition, compelled Takeda to drive up the cost of colchicine to $5 per pill.
The new generic options are the result of a court ruling on a lawsuit; there will soon be 2 generic versions of colchicine available, plus the original branded Colcrys. Experts can't confirm what the new price of the medication will be, but it will inevitably drop.
Prasco Laboratories planned to have its generic version of colchicine widely available by mid-January, so ask your doctor or pharmacist about your options for generic colchicine when it's time to fill or refill your prescription.