Jane Bates: Why can't drug names be easy to pronounce?

A surprising answer leaves Jane Bates incredulous
Confused woman taking a pill

A surprising answer leaves Jane Bates incredulous

Are you on any medication? I asked the patient. I’m on Cloppy–doggerel, she explained.

It sounded more like a rhyme-spouting pantomime pony than a pill. So many medicines have such difficult names it’s no wonder we get tongue-tied. I pronounce Clopidogrel with the accent on the second syllable, but perhaps that’s wrong.

A friend is taking Ommy Prazzle. I may have told her once or twice that the stress is on the first ‘e’, as in omEprazole, but she just laughs in my face.

None of their business

Why can’t drug names be more straightforward? I inquired of someone who works in the pharmaceutical industry. Ezetimibe – really? Who can pronounce that?

Patients, I told him, just can’t remember what they are taking when the words are so odd. And then he said a surprising


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