The Strange Garble of Drug Names

The strange garble of drug names: the proprietary name comes first, then a government agency invents the generic name (long before the drug is released as a generic). The government tries to make the generic name suggest something to an organic chemist (although not to a patient), while the trade name is typically just some awful sounding thing that might mean “ox feces” in Tanno Tuva, or who knows what. Neither trade names nor generics show, by their spelling, how they should be pronounced, or which syllable should be stressed; and yet the innocent consumer will soon find out, archly, that there’s a “correct” pronunciation of both, which serves to put is in our deserved place, as supplicants who shouldn’t question the wisdom of those who take our money.

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