ANVISA's decision on 'Skinny labels' for generics pending

Home/Policies & Legislation | Posted 14/11/2023 post-comment0 Post your comment

The Brazilian health regulatory agency, ANVISA (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária), is still considering whether to allow generic drug labelling to omit indications of the originator product that are still under patent.

Labelling V14I26

The Brazilian healthcare legislation establishes in the legal definitions of generic drugs (article 3, items XX and XXI, Statute #6,360 of 1976) that their labels must have all the same therapeutic indications of the reference-listed drug, meaning that the label of the generic and/or similar drug must precisely match those of the innovator drug, leaving no room for deviations.

Thus, the legislation does not allow today any sort of skinny label. However, pressured by local generics companies, ANVISA took the first official step to change its understanding. On 28 December 2022, the Agency’s Board of Directors published a ‘call for comments’ (which lasted 60 days, ending in March 2023) on the amendment of Rule #47 of 2009 to include an exemption allowing generics and branded generics to omit patented uses in their labels.

In the US, a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that the approval and marketing of skinny label biosimilars had led to billions of dollars in savings for Medicare. The letter notes that skinny labels are an important strategy for biosimilar and generic drugs, increasing the affordability and accessibility of medications across the US [1].

As approved by US congress, skinny labelling allows generics manufacturers to market a product following approval for the unpatented uses of the drug only. This enables the generics company to avoid waiting until existing patents expire and negates the need for them to attempt to invalidate patents in court [2].

The Brazilian regulatory agency recognised that its current regulation must be changed in order to allow skinny labels to be authorized in Brazil.

The new regulation would allow a skinny label whenever there is a therapeutic indication protected by patent right. But even if ANVISA changes its regulations to allow skinny labels in Brazil, it is crucial to assess each situation individually, considering the comprehensive marketing strategies of generic and branded generic drug manufacturers. The disregard of patent laws in ANVISA's decision-making process may lead to increased legal uncertainty and potential legal conflicts for generics companies.

Related articles
Study of the use of generic and biosimilar drugs in Latin America

FDA voices concerns around drug patents and competition

FDA issues final guidance on petitions delaying generics

The new section of the ‘Latin American Forum’ on GaBI has been launched. The objective of this new section is to provide you with all the latest news and updates on developments of generic and biosimilar medicines in Latin America in Spanish.

View the latest headline article: Alianza entre Abbott y mAbxience para los biosimilares en los mercados emergentes

Browse the news in the Latin American Forum!

Register to receive the GaBI Latin American Forum newsletter. Inform colleagues and friends of this new initiative.

Se ha lanzado la nueva sección del ‘Foro Latinoamericano’ sobre GaBI. El objetivo de esta nueva sección es brindarle las últimas noticias y actualizaciones sobre desarrollos de medicamentos genéricos y biosimilares en América Latina en español.

Ver el último artículo de cabecera: Alianza entre Abbott y mAbxience para los biosimilares en los mercados emergentes

!Explore las noticias en el Foro Latinoamericano!

Regístrese para recibir el boletín informativo GaBI Foro Latinoamericano. Informe a colegas y amigos sobre esta nueva iniciativa. 


1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Study investigates success of US skinny label approval pathway []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2023 Nov 14]. Available from:
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Generic skinny labelling under threat in the US []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2023 Nov 14]. Available from:

Permission granted to reproduce for personal and non-commercial use only. All other reproduction, copy or reprinting of all or part of any ‘Content’ found on this website is strictly prohibited without the prior consent of the publisher. Contact the publisher to obtain permission before redistributing.

Copyright – Unless otherwise stated all contents of this website are © 2023 Pro Pharma Communications International. All Rights Reserved.

comment icon Comments (0)
Post your comment
Related content
Strategic plans of ANVISA and COFEPRIS to advance health regulation
11 AA010165
Home/Policies & Legislation Posted 11/03/2024
Panama enacts new bill to guarantees the supply of medicines
53 MD002445
Home/Policies & Legislation Posted 29/02/2024
Most viewed articles
About GaBI
Home/About GaBI Posted 06/08/2009
EU guidelines for biosimilars
EMA logo 1 V13C15
Home/Guidelines Posted 08/10/2010