The pharma brand namers must be on drugs.

We all see the countless drug commercials on TV.

It’s hard to ignore the onslaught, all trying to convince us to talk to our doctor about them—even after 45 seconds of listing side effects in a 60-second spot. From what I can tell, everyone on the planet has high blood pressure, plaque cirrhosis and debilitating mood swings.

Recently I’ve seen some really bizarre brand names. Granted, this category has always been famous for them. Big pharma and their agencies have many secret formulas for brand name creation that could only appeal to chemists, medical specialists, and masochists. But three new drugs are on the fringe of brand name sanity.

Farxiga, Xeljanz, and Cosentyx. Wow. When commercials contain supers that show how to pronounce the name “Ask your doctor about far-SEE-guh,” they’ve lost. Isn’t the rule for brand names supposed to be easy to pronounce, easy to spell and easy to remember? So what happens when you’re in the doctor’s office? You draw a blank. And get a prescription because you stare off into space too much.

Pharma names are getting more and more out there – to a point where you feel like you’re looking at a Word Scramble, an eye chart or you’re in the throes of a stroke.

I need a couple of Aggrenox and Omeprazole!

Michael Friend

Author Michael Friend

Michael is the founder and Chief Branding Officer of Experra Branding Group, LLC, a brand consultancy that works exclusively with printing, imaging, product identification, converting and substrate technology companies to deliver short-term results and long-term value. He’s a brand strategist, business consultant and creative director with a passion for helping his global enterprise clients leverage the power of branding to crystallize corporate positioning, launch differentiated products, improve business processes and increase sales.

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