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[e-drug] Adrenalin - epinephrine (cont'd)

  • From: John Urquhart <urquhart@ix.netcom.com>
  • Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 05:29:16 -0500 (EST)

E-drug: Adrenalin - epinephrine (cont'd)

In reply to Stein Lytingsmo's comment about adrenaline/epinephrine,

A noteworthy bit of history is that "Adrenaline" was originally a
trademark of the first manufacturer of epinephrine, which was, I
believe, Parke-Davis. As I recall it, there was some controversy in the
early days of its commercial life, having to do with some objectionable
marketing practice or other of the manufacturer (probably pricing),
that caused many physicians of the era (the 1920's and 1930's) to
resist use of the term "Adrenaline". That, of course, was long before
pharmacists gained the right or obligation to substitute brands, so
trademark familiarity, wide usage, and prescribing by trademark were
key factors in long-running commercial success.

Like "Demerol", "Aspirin", "Gentamicin" and some other trademarks
within the pharmaceutical arena, and "Kleenex" and "Frigidaire"
among other types of consumer products, "adrenaline" has achieved
common usage as a generic name. Whether or not it still has
trademark status is unknown to me, but easily ascertainable.

Unless a trademark's owner is prepared to defend his/her ownership
of the mark, which becomes increasingly demanding if the mark gains
wide currency, then the mark's very success can ultimately destroy its
legal status as intellectual property. The Coca-Cola Company
exemplifies the vigorous defence approach to trademark defence.

John Urquhart, MD, FRCP(Edin)
Professor of Pharmaco-epidemiology
Maastricht University, Maastricht, NL
Chief Scientist, AARDEX/APREX Corp, Zug CH & Union City CA, USA
Professor of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, UCSF, San Francisco
home offiice: 975 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301USA
email: urquhart@ix.netcom.com
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