Sunday, August 16, 2009

Generic And Brands Names Of Medications

When a drug is first discovered, it is given a chemical name according to its chemical composition and International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry rules. Since chemical names are usually very long and complicated, its not feasible for pharmacists and researchers to use those names. The complexity of chemical name makes it impractical to remember every drug name. A shorthand version of drug name is thus devised, or a code is given to the chemical name until it is presented to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and approved. FDA then decides a formal name for that drug, known as Generic Drug Name. A brand name, also known as the trade name is then announced by the drug company. The trade name is developed by the company requesting approval for the drug and identifies it as the exclusive property of that company. For example, phenytoin is the generic name and Dilantin is a trade name for the same drug. When a drug is under patent protection, the company markets it under its trade name. When the drug becomes off-patent (no longer protected by patent), the company may market its product under either the generic name or the trade name. Other companies may sell the off-patent drug with the approved generic name from the company which holds the rights, and possibly different trade names.