For every pharmaceutical drug four names are assigned. The first name a pharmaceutical drug gains is its chemical name. The chemical name of a drug describes what the drug is made of; the chemicals that were mixed to create the drug. The chemical name is usually very long and difficult to pronounce; For example, Acetylsalicylic acid is the chemical name for Aspirin. The manufacturer gives the drug a generic name; this name will be the basic name of the basic drug. The generic version of a drug is generally cheaper, and contains more of the drug per bottle. Once the drug is introduced to the public it receives its official name. Aspirin is the drug’s generic and official name. The official name of the drug is generally the same as the generic name of the drug. The official name is the name used in the United States Pharmacopeia/National Formulary. Once the official name has been released companies may buy the product and produce a brand name for the drug. Drugs can have many different trade names, and be produced by several different companies. Aspirin, for example has over thirty trade or brand names, and Aspirin has been combined with many other drugs over forty times to make another drug.
All four of the different types of drug names differ from each other. The chemical name differs from the other three names because it is more specific as to what the drug’s chemical properties are. The brand name version of a drug is relatively more expensive than its generic counterpart. Brand name drugs are more expensive because marketing companies have paid to promote the drug and its uses. The Food and Drug Administration requires that the brand name version of a drug must be the exact same drug as the generic, chemical, and official name. Producers of brand name drugs do have the right to alter the color, size, flavor, or combination of inactive ingredients in the drug. The only difference between the generic name and the official name is the fact that the...
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