Saturday, April 9, 2011

Drug Names: Who Needs Them?

Last weekend's NPR Sunday puzzle with Will Shortz featured a couple as the contestant, the first time I can remember that happening. I always wondered how NPR dealt with the many folks who must do the puzzle together, and because I'd never heard two people do the quiz at once, I had assumed only one could be on at a time.

But of more interest to me was the fact that the woman contestant of the pair said she made her living coming up with names for "pharmaceutical products" -- i.e., all of the brand-name drugs we see advertised constantly.

Now there's a job I wish didn't exist. A world where that job wasn't needed would be a world where drugs aren't marketed to the public (and doctors) like soft drinks. Where millions of dollars of money aren't wasted on said marketing. And where I don't have to put up with hearing names like these, cloaked in pseudo-Latin and Greek:

  • Abilify
  • Ambien
  • Lunesta
  • Avandia
  • Cymbalta
  • Celebrex
  • Elavil
  • Levitra
Old drug names like penicillin, ibuprophen or bactrim don't sound like they're trying to sell you something. Even Prozac seems like it's only meant to be a memorable name rather than a tag line in sheep's clothing.

Geez, I'm starting to sound like Andy Rooney.

1 comment:

Michael Leddy said...

We used to joke about creating a kids’ tranquilizer — Comply. Sad that it’s really come to that now that high spirits and rambunctiousness are regarded as conditions in need of medication.