Medicines are a separate branch of medicine. There are several information fields associated with each medicine. First of all, this is information about the pharmacological drug properties. This is the very information what people get interested the most. This information contains facts on pharmacological properties, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics.
Additionally, each medicine should obtain the information about its storage terms, its physical and chemical properties, bioequivalence. Another aspect is the release rules. Drugs can be released with prescription only. There is also information describing the legislative regulation of the medicines’ distribution. In addition, there is information related to economic aspects, the rate of the drug, and its pharmacoeconomic characteristics. There is information related to the development history and their usage.
Undoubtedly, the pharmacological properties of the drug such as the mechanism of action, contraindications, safety of the drug, interactions, food combinability, dosing regimen, chronopharmacology, etc are of significant importance for pharmacists.
The drug life starts with its name. Medicines, like humans, may have several names at once.
This name is obtained in relation to the requirements of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). It is significant for chemists, for example, for those who take the quality of drugs under control. Also, this information is required by the manufacturers, it allows them to reproduce the active substance composition.
International nonproprietary name (INN)
INN is one of the most significant names. It is obtained due to the active ingredient in a medicinal product. It acknowledges international recognition and public property. The INN depicts the essence of the mechanism of action and is created by a special commission of the World Health Organization through a special procedure. In 1953 saw the first INN list for pharmaceutical products published. The WHO now regularly posts the WHO Drug Information magazine and the International Nonproprietary Names for Pharmaceutical Substance.
INN is necessary so that people can unambiguously realize what kind of drug you are dealing with in all the variety of drugs that appears after the expiration of the patent for the branded medicine. The fact is that, in addition to the international non-proprietary name, many drugs also have trade names. Taken as an example, there are 52 trade names for the INN diclofenac, 38 trade names for the INN ciprofloxacin, 33 trade names for the INN paracetamol, and so on. In addition, various medicinal products are created on the basis of the same pharmaceutical substances.
- nitroglycerin – 25 medical products;
- penicillin – 55 medical products;
- paracetamol – 125 medical products;
- diclofenac – 205 medical products.
Sum up: 410 medicinal products were created on the basis of four pharmaceutical substances.
Nowadays, the total number of INNs reaches approximately 8,000 and continues to grow by 100–120 new names per yaer.
INNs related to substances of the same pharmacological group should have common stems. On the basis of these stems doctors and pharmacists can specify their particular group. Most often, ancient Greek and Latin roots are utitlized, but recently there has been a tendency to use roots from European languages as well.
Tradename is the name under which the registration of a medicinal product is conducted. Its sale on the pharmaceutical market is also held within tradename. Trade names can be branded (proprietary names, trademarks), or they can be just a generic name. In this case, the drug is named by its INN. Branded names are recorded as trademarks. They are protected by intellectual property laws.
Sometimes a brand, due to its wide popularity, can cost even more than the drug itself. For example, everyone knows the drug No-shpa, but not everyone knows drotaverine. Brand promotion is the main goal of the company’s advertising activity.