Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Beware the easyTroll

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

After easyJet, easyCruise, easyBus, easyCar and easyHotel, is Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup now moving into pharmaceuticals? I began to wonder after a friend told me that he could not remember the name of his cholesterol-lowering drug, except that it began with “easy”.  I was puzzled until I realised that he was trying to recall “easyTroll” — ie, Ezetrol (ezetimibe).

This experience reinforces my previously expressed concerns about the need for more guidance on the pronunciation of drug names. I wrote about this problem after I heard clopidogrel pronounced as clop-i-DOG-ruhl rather than the more usual cluh-PID-uh-gruhl (PJ 2009;283:192).

Being familiar with the usual pronunciations of other drug names, most pharmacists would probably choose to pronounce Ezetrol as EZZ-i-trol and ezetimibe as eh-ZET-i-mybe. But, since I?heard both “cloppy doggerel” and “easyTroll” from pharmacists, who knows?

Ezetrol’s manufacturer, MSD-SP Ltd, gives no guidance on pronunciation in its summary of product characteristics (SPC), which is intended­ to give healthcare professionals all the data they need, or in its patient information leaflet (PIL), which should provide essential information for the product’s end users.

But MSD-SP is by no means alone in failing to give guidance on pronunciation. Manufacturers and distributors rarely include such information in their literature. Official compendia and independent guides to medicines are equally lax.

Does it matter? I think it does, because if a health professional uses an unconventional pronunciation of a drug name — whether generic name or brand name — it could be misheard as a different drug altogether, with potentially serious consequences.

I would like to see guidance on pronunciation in every SPC and PIL, and perhaps also in books such as the British National Formulary and Martindale.

 

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

From: Beyond pharmacy blog

Take a look here for thoughts and musings beyond the pharmacy realm

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.