On June 23, 1995, Ramon Vasquez received the preceeding prescription from his cardiologist. He began taking the medication given to him by the pharmacist on a Saturday morning. By Sunday night, the medication had affected his heart so much that he had a heart attack. He died several days later.
A pharmaceutical company submits data on a newly discovered compound to FDA for classification as a new chemical entity to gain permission for animal testing to determine any desirable and undesirable effects.
The chemical name is not pre-approved by any organization, nor is it recognized in any standard manuals, such as USP publications
Generic names are coined using an established stem, or group of letters, that represents a specific drug class.
USAN stems include prefixes like -coxib for arthritis medications - celecoxib , valdecoxib , and rofecoxib are generic names containing the stem. Each belongs to a class of drugs known as the COX-2 inhibitors.
Names that include such stems, chemistry roots, or any other coded information are easier to remember, and give clues about what a drug is used for. These names, however, typically sound or look so much alike that they contribute to medication errors, especially if the products share common dosage forms and other similarities.
The brand name, also called trademark, can be created as soon as a generic name has been established.
According to a report in the January-February 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, there are more than 9,000 generic drug names and 33,000 trademarked brand names in use in the United States
Merck Index: The Merck Index OnlineSM is the online version of the monographs in the printed 13th Edition of The Merck Index (a U.S. publication, Whitehouse Station, N.J., USA), an internationally recognized, one-volume encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs, and biologicals. Each monograph in the encyclopedia (each record in the database) discusses a single chemical entity or a small group of very closely-related compounds. Updates contain material not yet available in print.
PDR:The Physicians' Desk Reference ( PDR ) is a commercially published compilation of manufacturers' prescribing information (package insert) on prescription drugs, updated annually. While designed to provide physicains with the full legally mandated information relevant to writing prescriptions (just as its name suggests), it is widely available in libraries and bookstores, widely used by other medical specialists, and in significant part valuable to consumers.