Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-16

Confusing brand names: Nightmare of medical profession

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa 403202, India

Correspondence Address:
Amit Garg
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa 403202
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15793332

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OBJECTIVE: India has more than 20,000 registered pharmaceutical manufacturers. Consequently, there is a flood of brand names to choose from. We conducted this study to analyse and sort out the multitudinous brand names thronging the Indian market, and identified those that could create a possible confusion. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Recent issues of drug formularies like Indian Drug Review, Drug Index, and Monthly Index of Medical Specialities-India were checked and all the brand names given were included. Some other brand names that are available with the pharmacists but are not included in these indexes were also included in the study for analysis. OBSERVATIONS: Potentially confusing brand names were sorted out and categorised according to the severity of damage they can cause if misinterpreted by the pharmacist or the patient. Subgroups were made according to the brand name, the generic name, and the manufacturers of the drug. CONCLUSION: Several brand names are strikingly identical, similar looking (orthographic), or similar sounding (phonological). Preventing this possible confusion is not the work of any one person involved. We describe the role of prescribing doctors, dispensing pharmacists, consumer patients, and the manufacturing companies to prevent "wrong prescribing" due to similarities in brand names.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow