Since 1999, the Institute of Medicine has recommended that pharmaceutical companies receive guidance from the Food and Drug Administration on how to test proprietary names to reduce the instance of look-alike or sound-alike (LASA) medication names.
Max Straka, Director of Drug Safety at Leaderboard Branding, a Fingerpaint company, shared three key steps biopharma companies can take to prioritize safety and medication error prevention when creating and choosing a proprietary trade name in this PharmExec Brand Insights feature.
These steps include:
1. Knowing the risk
Having a thorough understanding of the risks involved when submitting a name with similar characteristics to another, including pronunciation or spelling, is critical. Names with too many orthographic or phonetic similarities could lead to confusion.
Straka stressed that product characteristics may increase or mitigate the risk of two LASA names.
“Products that vary in strength, dose, frequency, route of administration, packaging, and administration setting may provide enough differentiation to have the names safely coexist in the same space.”
3. Real-world data
To provide a real-world glimpse into how a name will be interpreted, consider relying on healthcare practitioners to provide their interpretation and analysis of whether a proprietary name has any LASA issues.