Thursday, November 16, 2006

How Drugs Are Named

When a new drug compound gets to the later stages of drug testing, a team within the pharmaceutical company will work countess hours coming up with names for the drug. All drugs require two names, a trade name and a generic name. For example the generic name of Tylenol is acetaminophen.

Coming up with these names is not an easy task because the names can not be similar to those of any other drug, as the potential for medication errors is increased if two drug names sound or look similar. In addition, ideal names are catchy and convey something about the drug or the condition being treated, which will help market the drug.

The search for the generic name for Viagra was especially arduous. Several names were considered, but later rejected as not a good fit. After careful consideration, it was determined that the generic name meeting the naming criteria mentioned above was mycoxafloppin. Other names considered included mycoxafailin, mydixadrupin, mydixarizin and ibepokin.

Myself I was partial to dixafix, but guess that didn't even make the cut. Apparently it’s too close to the name of an over-the counter treatment.

Source: Based on an email I received at work. I consult for the pharmaceutical industry, so this must be a true story.

Speaking of work, it been crazy for the past two weeks. My boss is actually expecting me to do work for a change. What a drag! Hopefully the madness will end soon so I can get caught up with responding to everyone's wonderful comments, as well as do some major blog surfing.


ShadowFalcon said...

I was wondering how they cam up which these names and if they throw in extra letters just to make it harder to pronouce

Crankster said...

I just remember "vitameatavegimin," the drug that Lucy Ricardo used to shill for.

Starrlight said...

Dixafix is by far the bestest!

Kevin said...

Call me dense, but I'm missing the relationship betwen the over-the counter treatment link and the Harley Rentals pic.

Lil help there please?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Only I would reverse it - Fixadix. So it doesn't sound so regional, like Moonshine. I'm not sure they would buy Dixafix in New York or L.A.

Michael C said...

Brilliant post. I've been making fun if drug companies lately...I guess for you, I'd better stop?

Barb said...

Oh thank you for the morning laugh :)


Shadow Falcon: Oh, hard to pronounce is practically a requirement!

Crankster: Unfortunately that was pulled from the market because it was causing people to have laughing fits.

Starlight: Indeed!

Kevin: It was late and I was tired. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. (That and some vague idea of the bike and hot chicks in leather at 'Big Dick Customs' being like OTC Viagra.)

Hearts in SF: Good point! You should work in marketing.

Michael C: No need to stop on my account! I make fun of pharma all the time. How can you not make fun of them, really?

Barb: Glad to have been of service. :)

austere said...

well, sector same pinch.
you should hear the names of some of the brands sildi is sold in India by. hilarious. almost otc, and major major media buzz when it was first introduced.

Sarah said...

Haha good stuff. Even funnier is the story behind the discovery of viagra and how "Erectile Dysfunction" replaced the label "impotence" (check out the book Hard Sell: The evolution of a Viagra salesman)Pharmaceutical companies are full of evil genius marketing tactics. If only people would quit thinking of US medicine as just another product for sale...perhaps we'd be less gullible. It would be nice to see some of that marketing $$$ go towards some real R&D; some of the type many people believe these companies are actually doing, and why drugs are so expensive. I could rant all day about this...but it is always great comedy material. Thanks for the laugh :)

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