Prozac, Lipitor, Viagra, and numerous other brand names for prescription drugs have entered the common vernacular in the United States (US). This is for good reason, since pharmaceutical manufacturers spend at least US$30 billion annually on marketing brand awareness to US physicians and patients . Globally, the use of brand names in such advertising has persisted largely unquestioned as a means for manufacturers to distinguish innovator drugs from each other and from their generic equivalents. However, use of brand names also means that each new prescription drug automatically receives two names—its brand name and generic name—and perhaps even more, as brand names can vary from country to country (Prozac is also called Erocap, Lorien, Lovan, and Zactin outside the US). While prescription drug brand names can increase medication name recognition by patients and help differentiate products, they can also confuse patients and reduce appropriate use of generic drugs.
This map identifies and displays key features of Drug Product Selection laws across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and over time, from January 1, 2014 to October 1, 2016.