How are medicines named?
The names of medicines can be difficult to pronounce or spell. There is a process for agreeing the generic name – called the international non-proprietary name – of a new medicine.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is responsible for international non-proprietary names of new medicines. The pharmaceutical company suggests up to six names for its new medicine.
Some of the rules:
- The name should be distinct in sound and spelling – and not very long
- The name should not be easily confused with the name of other medicines
- The letters ‘h’, ‘k’ and ‘y’ should be avoided – they can cause translation and pronunciation difficulties in other languages
- The end of the word might indicate the type of medicine. For example, beta-blockers, which open up blood vessels and slow the heart, end with “olol”
For more information see PJ Online