Vol. 66 No. 2 (2018)

Natesto®. What Else? New Trends in Drug Naming

Published 2018-04-03


This paper is a lexicological study of the brand names of newly FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved drugs which aims at highlighting the new trends observed in drug naming. For our corpus, we used a listing of 320 drugs approved by the FDA for sale in the United States for the years 2012 to 2017. In our study, we showed that the commonly used letters X and Z were giving way to A and O endings so as to attract Romance languages speaking clients. We demonstrated that this trend matched a less recent ploy in food and automotive marketing. We focused on the “Vowel/Consonant+lexeme” matrix that is found almost exclusively in the drug industry because it permits to create a name shorter in writing – an advantage for prescribers. Although the FDA recommended that “unsubstantial beneficial” connotations be banned, we uncovered the presence of promotional affixes as well as hidden emotional contents that are meant to be persuasive.


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