Patent protection (i.e. exclusive sale of a drug by the discoverer/developer) for many of the commonly prescribed drugs today has expired as protection has a finite life of 20 years. This has led to the marketing of such ‘out of patent’ drugs by several generic manufacturers using different ‘brand names’ for the original Approved Name initially defined by the United Nations World Health Organisation Pharmacoepia. While the Approved Name of a drug is universally used in medical textbooks and journals as well as in teaching to medical, pharmacy and nursing students, brand names are not used as these can and do vary from country to country depending on copyright. On the other hand, doctors are pressured by manufacturers to prescribe by brand names while pharmacists are pressured to dispense a container with a generic brand name even if the doctor has written a prescription for the Approved Name of a drug. This causes confusion and uncertainty for recently graduated pharmacists, doctors and nurses in Australia where there has been a proliferation of generic manufacturers who have taken out copyright on new brand names.

This app has been programmed to translate an entered brand name on the screen quickly into a new screen showing the Approved Name in uppercase and with a list of the corresponding brand names in alphabetical order in lower case. It can also translate an entered Approved Name into a new screen with an alphabetical list of brand names. Additionally, when there are multiple brand names, the screen can expand to give brief information on Clinical Use and Mode of Action of that drug. This is summarised information and not a substitute for the detailed information on that drug which can be found in the Product Information sheets provided by the manufacturer in Australia (www.ebs.tga.gov.au) or in the Australian Medicines Handbook/website or eMIMS website.

For an independent review of DRUG NAMES published in the Australian Prescriber (April 2017) go to: https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/app-review-drug-names

To use this app on a smart phone, please click on the app link logo either for an iPhone (Apple app store) or for an Android phone (Google Play Store) for downloading the correct app for your smart phone. This app is not a source of information for lay people and while the author regards the information as true and accurate, the author does not accept any legal responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions that may have been made.

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