The Food and Drug Administration is taking another look at how drugs are named.

Specifically, the agency wants to know how drug names that suggest what the drug treats affect patients’ and doctors’ perceptions of the treatment and its efficacy. The Office of Prescription Drug Promotion is leading the research.

The OPDP already evaluates drug names to determine if they are false or misleading, overstate the effectiveness or suggest superiority to other products. The study, titled “Empirical Study of Promotional Implications of Proprietary Prescription Drug Names,” will focus on drug names that have an “overstatement of the efficacy” of the product.

The FDA posted a federal register notice seeking comment on the study. In that notice, it laid out the main research questions:

  1. How, if at all, do names that suggest the drug’s indication affect consumers’ and/or healthcare providers’ perceptions of the prescription drug?
  2. How, if at all, do names that suggest an overstatement of the efficacy of the drug affect consumers’ and/or healthcare providers’ perceptions of prescription drugs?

The agency plans to survey consumers and healthcare providers about their impressions of several drug names. The participants will be shown five target names, two neutral names and one name that suggests superiority to the others, for example, CureAll. They will be asked their perceptions of the drug before and after being told what its indication is.

Comments on the proposed study will be open until March 23.