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Margaret A. Winker

Physicians and other health care professionals, patients, researchers, manufacturers, and the public may refer to drugs by several names, including the nonproprietary name (often referred to as the generic name) and at least 1 proprietary (brand) or trademark name selected by the manufacturer of the drug. Other drug identifiers include chemical names, trivial (unofficial) names, and code designations.(pp12-15) However, only 1 drug name, the nonproprietary name, is regulated internationally to ensure consistent usage and no duplication with other drugs. Once a drug has been assigned a nonproprietary name, the nonproprietary name should always be used to refer to the drug.

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