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Shakespeare claimed that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. A medication with a confusing name, though, can cause a fatal mistake. A promising new molecule developed in a pharmaceutical company lab almost always begins life with an internal letter and deation, derived from a screening library or a ed series of chemically similar compounds. Molecules that aspire to be drugs also go by lengthy chemical names, which almost no one ever uses, generated using the formal rules of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry IUPAC.
Each of these databases uses its own unique identifier system. This is where things can get interesting. Names may be informed by chemical structure and IUPAC name, development history, or mechanism of action. Companies can choose to outsource drug-name creation to a committee or to a specialist naming company such as Miami-based Brand Institute. I could have predicted that.
Drug names rarely include the name of a disease or a body part, but that seems to be a matter of taste rather than a rule. An apocryphal tale has it that sales of the Chevy Nova were poor in Mexico. Most importantly, generic and brand names should not be easily confused with existing drug names. Once chosen, the pharmaceutical company submits newly proposed generic names to national nomenclature committees. In the U. The International Nonproprietary Names INN program of the World Health Organization also creates a unique set of drug names that are globally recognized and, unlike trademarked brand names, public property.
Above all, organizations like USAN and INN are Chemical name of drug definition with name clarity, which is why, for instance, drugs that by rights should have an alpha in them e. With new biologics and small molecules, there is often a code that regulates which name fragments or stems will comprise the final drug name. For example, only the ri- is unique to rituximab.
Most small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors TKIs end with -tinibhistone deacetylase inhibitors end with — statand proteasome inhibitors end with -zomib. Beyond oncology, we have all the glucocorticoid -onidesproton pump inhibitor — prazolesanti-lipid -statinsand many other families that share a surname. There is always room for cleverness like vemurafenib, which targets a V-to-E ve- mutation - mu - in BRAF VE - rafcommonly observed in hairy cell leukemia and certain lung cancers. Unlike generic names, commercial names created by marketers can vary by country and need to be approved by the U.
Brand names sometimes seem purposefully deed to be simpler than the non-proprietary names so clinicians will use the trade name preferentially. The same constraints about clarity and connotation also apply to brand names. The preponderance of high-scoring Scrabble letters like x, j, z, and q in brand names is intentional as they connote high-tech and cutting-edge, and are harder to confuse with real words.
Where did the ima- in imatinib come from? I was even once told confidently! So, the z was dropped. Yet, just as children will always think hamburger has something to do with ham, or that bridegrooms are related to horse grooms, the other stories will undoubtedly persist. You now know better. Note: Mention of a drug in this essay does not imply that either the author or the American Society of Hematology endorses its use. I thank the many pharmaceutical company scientists who confirmed name origins mentioned in this essay. Cookie Settings.
LOG IN. Log into your. Recover your password. ASH Clinical News. July Volume 7 Issue 8. June Volume 7 Issue 7. May Volume 7 Issue 6. Generic selectors.
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Search in posts. Search in s. Home Viewpoints Editor's Corner. Editor's Corner Viewpoints. David Steensma, MD. Decoding Drug Names With new biologics and small molecules, there is often a code that regulates which name fragments or stems will comprise the final drug name. Recent Articles.
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As part of In preliminary efficacytreatment with a single low-dose infusion of ciltacabtagene autoleucel cilta-cel led to early, deep, and durable responses in patients with Current Issue. Friday, July 16,Chemical name of drug definition
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What’s in a (Drug) Name?