2047 The Name Game for Drugs
Where do they get those drug names? You know the ones. They sound familiar but with additions, subtractions and alternative letters. They sound like something Irwin Corey or Al Kelly would use in a standup routine.
The drug industry spends millions promoting stuff with funny names. Make that billions. They’re on television. They’re in Magazines. They’re on the internet.
Here are some favorites:
Abilify. That’s for treating psychological problems. It’s “Ability,” but misspelled.
Humira. Treats arthritis. Its root is “human.”
Lyrica. For muscle pain. Based on “Lyric.”
Latuda. For bipolar. Based on Latitude.
Chantix. Stop smoking. Based on “chant” and “tics.”
Crestor. Treats high cholesterol. Sounds like a crescent shaped space monster. “Run for your lives. It’s…”
Eliquis. An anti-coagulant. Eloquent revisited and revised.
Xelganz. Arthritis. Pronounced ZEL’ janz. Jello? Jealous?
Celebrex. Pain relief. Celebrate. Competitors are Acatvix and Mylan.
Cosentyx. Help with addiction. Consent. Tics.
Warfarin. Blood thinner. War or warfare.
Raptiva. Psoriasis. Raptor.
Tiva. An anesthetic. Let’s play Tivial Pursuit.
Neurontin. Seizures. Neuro-something.
...to name a few.
The ads and the companies are heavily criticized. The response: more ads.
Here’s what the manufacturers want you to do: Ask your doctor of Knockitoff is right for you. The doc will answer yes, no or maybe depending on your needs. If it’s yes or maybe, chances are you’ll try it. Also, chances are it’s not on your health insurance’s list of discount drugs.
When you get the bill you’ll probably need a strong dose of Revivemenow.
The ads are required to list some side effects. For this, the companies don’t play word games. Some of the most common words are “death,” “fatal,” “sleep walking,” “weight loss,” “weight gain,” “headache,” “blurred vision,” “indigestion,” “skin irritation,” “internal bleeding,” “brain infection,” “swelling,” “dizzy,” “drowsy,” “memory loss,” “reduced immuno-efficiency,” “decreased mental acuity” and “cancer.”
This is good. But while they’re telling you that a side effect may cause death, what they show you on screen is happy people doing happy people things.
Then they want you to have more information. So they tell you to “see our ad in ‘Tractor Pull Digest’” or some other magazine you’ve never heard of and can’t find either at the newsstand or on line. Or whose circulation is so low you have to write to the publisher and pay for back issues… the most recent of which was March-April, 2002.
If you should happen to find that tractor pull magazine at the supermarket checkout, and buy it -- you’ll get a page of gobbledygook in a type font so small you need an electron microscope to read it.
Most of us don’t have electron microscopes. But even if you have one lying around from your days of eating in restaurants that require help to see the tiny portion of food, you won’t want to read it and if you do, you won’t understand it.
Probably you’re better off ignorant.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2019