[Editor’s note: The following is a reply from Andrea Doria, vice-chair of the Toronto Public Health Commission and chief scientific officer at the Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.]
My original comment said that a name could have a strong influence on how a new drug is perceived by the public. This is definitely true for new drug approvals and approvals are very often determined by public naming and marketing. In addition, a drug may be marketed by any one of a number of other health authorities who were also presenting their decision and consequently responsible for branding and marketing. This does seem a bit of a subjective question, but I am open to the possibility that naming may have significant influence. My point was that there may well be more to naming other than how it is being seen in the short-term.
My comment drew upon an earlier review of the name generator and while there is a case for using a surname, I feel it is fair to say that there are no dynasties in innovation. Thus those who argued that there was a family of inventors and that my use of “skunk juice” was a kind of tradition were given the straw that broke the camel’s back. I believe people will learn their lesson and be more careful when naming something. Some people argue for secrecy in branding, but with a name you can also get trashed.
In fact, to limit debate I have offered an amendment to my original statement: “I only intended to promote discourse and exploration of this discussion.” I am seeking a consensus on a name and it is intended that someone’s risk of identity theft is minimized. I am open to suggestions and suggestions are welcome.
My hope is that someone will submit a name that will never be brought up again.