Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

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Medication Monikers – What’s In A Name? Plenty

Medication Monikers

Zocor, Zantac & Xanax. Three sound-alike drugs that treat three different illness. No wonder 15% of medication error are blomed on name confusion. If two difeerent drugs are named as Xango* and Zango* respectively, can you differentiate them? *These drugs do not exist (they only exist in my imagination)

However, naming a drug is as simple as a,b,c no easy task. It can cost $1 million per drug, mostly for research and legal fees. Get it wrong? You’ll pay for it.

Generic drugs should not begin with ‘H‘, ‘J‘, ‘K‘, ‘W‘, ‘X‘ or ‘Z‘, says the group that guides the naming process of drugs. The reason? Those letters sound too similar, different or don’t exist in some languages.

Singulair, Vioxx are discouraged too. Most names don’t mean anything. Maybe that’s because the US Food and Drug Administration, which rejects one third of names proposed each year, says they can’t be misleading, overtstae the drug’s efficacy or suggest unapproved uses.

Oh, by the way, last thing about drugs. Viagra implies vitality, and it rhymes with Niagara (Falls), suggesting force. Coincidence?

*NOTE: Quoted from Reader’s Digest Asia July 04 issue.

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