Dutasteride was patented in 1996  and was first described in the scientific literature in 1997.  It was approved by the FDA for the treatment of BPH in November 2001 and was introduced into the . market the following year under the brand name Avodart.  Dutasteride has subsequently been introduced in many other countries as well, including throughout Europe and South America .  The patent protection of dutasteride expired in November 2015 and the drug has since become available in the . in a variety of low-cost generic formulations .