Generic Abreva is currently not available in the United States. The drug is protected by a patent until December 2013. However, patents for specific uses or lawsuits could delay the generic medication's availability beyond this time. It's important not to confuse the active ingredient in a drug with its generic version. For example, docosanol is not a form of generic Abreva; it's the active ingredient.
Abreva® (docosanol) is a non-prescription cold sore treatment. It is the only non-prescription product approved to shorten the healing time and the duration of cold sore symptoms.
Abreva is made by Avanir Pharmaceuticals and is distributed by GlaxoSmithKline. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Abreva from being manufactured in the United States.
The first patent for Abreva currently expires in December 2013. This is the earliest possible date that a generic version of the drug could become available. However, other circumstances could come up to extend the exclusivity period beyond 2013. This could include such things as other patents for specific Abreva uses or lawsuits. Once the patent expires, several companies will likely begin manufacturing generic Abreva.
No -- docosanol is the active ingredient in Abreva, but is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of any drug is referred to as the "generic name." The generic name is different from a generic version of a medicine. In order for there to be a generic version of a medicine, the original medicine must have gone off-patent and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.