Drug makers may spend untold sums of money giving medicines zippy names. Now, regulators want to know the effect these nomenclatures have on perceptions held by consumers and doctors.
So the Food and Drug Administration is launching what it says is the first such study to learn how names may affect perceptions of how effective a drug is or the given conditions it is approved to treat. The plan is to query 500 consumers and 500 health care providers about fictional “extreme and neutral” names for high cholesterol and acid reflux drugs: CuresFlux and Zerpexin.
This research is only as good as the fake names that are used. “CuresFlux”? Seriously?
I do think a name can help perceptions (for both consumer and healthcare professionals) especially knowing the context of what the medicine does. A perfect example for me is Viagra. IMO the name (and the marketing savvy and resources of Pfizer of course) made this brand iconic. Does it work better than Cialis or Levitra? I suspect not. But it definitely has a much better brand name!
To quote the old poem – “What’s in a name?” Perhaps we shall see…
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