Thursday, August 18, 2005

Drug Mix-ups

Watch out! Some medicines sold in the U.S. are sold under different names abroad [WSJ]

"In Brazil, for example, the brand name Dilacor refers to verapamil for irregular heart rhythm and hypertension. But in the U.S., Dilacor is a blood-pressure drug known generically as diltiazem. And in Serbia, Dilacor is the brand name for digoxin, used to treat heart failure...

It isn't known how long such name-sharing has been going on, but the problem came to light only recently after a serious mix-up was reported at a hospital in Michigan. Because there is no regulatory body that keeps track of names globally, there is the potential for more and deadlier cases to occur."