The disadvantages of brand names for drugs are well known - they do not indicate the nature of the drug, making it difficult to integrate information about related drugs; their multiplicity compels doctors and pharmacists to learn needlessly many names, and it also compels pharmacists to stock a variety of equivalent preparations. Teachers in medical schools and administrators of health services have long tried to establish the use of generic (non-proprietary) names, but with only sporadic success. The reason is that brand names form the main basis of competition between manufacturers. From a medical and social point of view, however, competition should be based on therapeutic efficacy and safety, and on cost.
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