Each week we will aim to bring out a concise email that provides 4-5 key pieces of information addressing a specific issue in clinical therapeutics.
This week: Updating Medicine Ingredients Names Part 1
Louise Johnston, Clinical Pharmacist, Ward MM
In different countries, different names are used to describe the same medicinal ingredient. Since 2002 the Australian Therapeutic Drugs Administration (TGA) has adopted the International Nonproprietary Names (INNs) as the approved drug name in the Australia. However, some drugs approved before 2002 have a different name. Where a drug name is different to the INN, the TGA now requires that the INN be used.
- Some changes are minor, for example changing a ‘y’ to an ‘i’ (amoxycillin is now amoxicillin), and will not affect how the ingredient name is pronounced.
- Some changes are more significant. For these products, medicine labels will need to use both the old and new ingredient name until 2023 to help consumers and healthcare professionals become familiar with the new name. For example, medicines containing lignocaine will need to be dual labelled as ‘lidocaine (lignocaine)’.
- Sponsors are to effect the name changes by April 2020. We have already seen some of these changes come into effect. For example, MIMS and some of the doctors computer software have been updated this year.
- The full list of all 227 names affected by changes is available at www.tga.gov.au/updating-medicine-ingredient-names-list-affected-ingredients.
Please consider these issues when preparing or interpreting RMMR reports or education sessions. Contributions of content or suggested topics are welcome and should be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.