Saturday, January 22, 2005

How Names Affect Revenues

Extremely interesting tidbit we picked up at Cancer Blog about the manner in which a drug's trade (commercial) name affects consumer psychology:

In the last few years we have seen a multitude of new drugs against cancer. As we all know, these medications generate a huge amount of money for the drug companies, and there. is a lot of market pressure for these drug to generate revenue...the trend that is making me a little bit nervous: the names of the drugs themselves are inexplicably complicated. We used to have names like tamoxifen, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide. These names were easily memorized and pronounced. Now we are seeing names such as gefitinib (Iressa), trastuzumab (Herceptin), bicalutamide (Casodex). It seems that the drug companies are creating generic names that are difficult to memorize and pronounce, while creating very catchy trade names. This discourages patients and health care providers to use the generic name, which means that the trade name will be strongly associated with this specific medication not only now, but also after the patent protection expires.
One prominent example the study forgot to mention is Prozac--possibly the most recognized drug next to Viagra.

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