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In 2007, FDA drug-safety expert David Graham reported to an advisory committee that Avandia had caused heart problems, including deaths, in 66,000 to 200,000 people.
When the new program goes into effect on Nov. 18, only certified doctors will be allowed to prescribe the drug, and only to patients who've been informed of the risks and who will fill their prescriptions by mail order through specific pharmacies.
When Will Generic Avandia Be Available? The first patent for Avandia currently expires in 2012. This is the earliest possible date that a generic version of Avandia could become available. However, there are other circumstances that could come up to extend the exclusivity period of Avandia beyond 2012. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for specific Avandia uses. Once Avandia goes off patent, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic Avandia drug.