Toxin Language at the FDA

In the infinite wisdom of the FDA, the agency has decided that the 3 forms of botulinum toxin need new generic names.

Photo by Flickr member EverJean. Used under Creative Commons license

Photo by Flickr member EverJean. Used under Creative Commons license

Botulinum toxin type A, trade name Botox, will henceforth be known as onabotulinumtoxinA.

Botulinum toxin type A, trade name Dysport, will henceforth be known as abobotulinumtoxinA.

Botulinum toxin type B, trade name Myoblock, will henceforth be known as rimabotulinumtoxinB.

The FDA’s announcement says the reason for this change is “to reinforce individual potencies and prevent medication errors.  The potency units are specific to each botulinum toxin product, and the doses or units of biological activity cannot be compared or converted from one product to any other botulinum toxin product.  The new established names reinforce these differences and the lack of interchangeability among products.”

I think the FDA should have consulted a linguist, or an editor, or for that matter any random person off the street, before making these changes. Do they really think that using 9-syllable, 18- or 19-letter, compound words will actually prevent medication errors? I think they’re going to cause errors!

—Bob Finn

posted 11:50am PDT Aug 4, 2009

Bookmark and Share

Leave a comment

Filed under Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Plastic Surgery

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s