Drug names are funny things: They’re designed to maximize impact and market exposure, make them memorable and, most importantly, make sense to regulators, often looking like a bunch of high-score Scrabble letters tied together.
But for one of the newest names on the block, simplicity reigns. With the latest FDA approval of a new eye drop for those with blurred near vision, AbbVie and Allergan, like many before it, have turned to the Brand Institute for a new product name.
For this drug, the company went with brevity and tone before maximizing underused characters, like the ones we’ve seen in recent years with Zokinvy, Uplizna, Byfavo, and Zepzelca, to name a few.
In the end, companies came up with Vuity (Think, See, Clarity). “You can see quite clearly in the name that ‘show’ is the central link; we get good comments about its ease of pronunciation and relevance to the therapy class,” explained Scott Bergrossi, Head of Creative at the Brand Institute.
Last month, the Food and Drug Administration gave AbbVie’s Vuity the go-ahead for presbyopia, or age-related blurry near vision, with the drug landing in drugstores earlier this month.
RELATED: Amgen’s Evenity Wins the #FierceMadness Drug Championship
Vuity is one such “clean” name that comes through a complex drug naming process, which has the added pressure of regulatory acceptance. The FDA is reviewing the safety of the name but is also conducting a promotional evaluation, given the efficacy and safety claims that may be embedded in the name itself. Anything that could be considered exaggerated or excessively promotional has been excluded.
Safety is also key – the FDA doesn’t want names that are too similar to others on the market and you risk mixing up prescriptions. As a result, Bergrossi said, the agency has become very conservative. Hence the prominent new names that hit the market. It has to be noticeably different from the thousands of other drugs on the market, while also serving what the company wants: a strong name that can help boost prescriptions.
Bergrossi said Vuity came out on top in this score and more. “Tone matters here, too,” he said. “It shows some optimism. A bit of the upbeat nature of the name, and the highlight is what it aims to be.”