Your friendly SRxA Bloggers are keenly aware of the increasing scrutiny of all aspects of pharmaceutical marketing, but a recent criticism by a fellow blogger seems especially troubling to us. Barry Silverstein of On the Button claims that pharma companies are hiding disclosure about side-effects behind brand names that hint at their possible indications for use.
Why is he so rattled by drugs with clever and attractive sounding names? After all he works for a naming, strategy and branding company that in its own words “has a knack for coming up with names that are provocative and human”.
What is so heinous about Flomax or ProAir? Are they any worse than “Pooch Punch” – the name for a canine electrolyte drink (seriously?!?) dreamed up by Silverstein’s agency?
His objection to the names Cymbalta, Lyrica, Chantix, Levitra and Spiriva are beyond us. His insinuation that the use of these names is nothing but a ruse to circumvent FDA regulations is even more puzzling.
As he himself points out, the pharmaceutical industry in already riddled with marketing land mines.
Please, Mr. Silverstein, let’s not add another.