Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Friday, May 29, 2009

What's in a Name - SSRi Brand Naming

I'm currently reading Terence Young's excellent book 'DEATH BY PRESCRIPTION' that he kindly sent me via a Canadian friend of mine. Firstly, thanks for the inscription, very kind :)

Death by Prescription tears at the heart strings during the first few Chapters, Terence talks openly about how he witnessed his daughter, Vanessa, dying in front of him - to cut a long story short, she died as a result of taking a drug, Prepulsid, that was given to her 'off-licence' - a practice that still continues today with a whole heap of drugs.

I'll write about the book when I have completed it.

Terence has made some great analogies throughout thus far and many have been noted.

I feel compelled to write about Chapter 12, 'Games With Names', in which Terence explains how pharmaceutical companies choose brand names as powerful marketing tricks to get you, I and your doctor hooked subconsciously. They hire 'experts' to come up with an 'eye-catching' name [brand].

Some examples Terence points to:

Serafem - Manufactured by Eli Lilly, marketed for women with PMDD [bad periods].

Serafem sounds like seraphim, which means angel. The "phim" is replaced with "fem" - short for feminine. A feminine angel? Sounds nice eh?

Of course, Terence goes into much more detail than I have and came up with more examples and a little test too.

Look at the next two sentences and see if they make sense to you, he writes.

"Can yuo udnrestsnd tihs? Rseaerchres at Cmabrigde Uinervitsy hvee shwne the haumn mnid redas the wrod as a wolhe, so the ordre of the letres is not ipmortant, if the fsrit and lsat leetrts are in the rghit palce."

At first glance you'd think complete gobblydegook, but it's quite simple to read and a trick that Pharma use when giving their drugs a brand name.

Terence points out the rival drug to Viagra, a drug named, 'Levitra'. Using the excercise above it becomes quite clear in the thinking behind the co-manufacturers of Levitra, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, GSK, and Schering-Plough.

See if you can work it out for yourselves.

What does an erectile dysfunction promise to do?

Think about it?

Terence carefully analyses the word Levitra by using the simple excercise.

He writes:

"The human mind reads the whole word, taking meaning from jumbled letters. Levitra is a letter jumble from the word 'elevate' by switching an 'e' for an 'r'. Many male customers would subconsciously get this message without Bayer ever mentioning what they need to elevate."

I've often wondered about the brand names for paroxetine. Seroxat, I thought, seemed pretty clear but maybe the 'ser' does not imply serotonin, maybe it subconsciously implies 'serene'?

Terence also points out that branding companies sometimes use certain letters like 'x' and 'c' because they produce a harder tonality.

It's certainly gave me food for thought.

Take Effexor - Surely the name would imply 'effective'? I bet you any money they wouldn't have named it Deffexor as that would most surely imply the opposite - 'Defective'.

I'm sure there will be many more that you will come across as you go through your medicine cabinets.

Incidently, the Latin for 'peace' is 'Pax' - clever eh?

Terence Young's book, Death By Prescription, is currently on sale and the spirit of his daughter, Vanessa, emanates from each page.