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 December 3, 2004 [posted]
 Drug Trade Names - Enhanced Access and International Coverage in MeSH®

drop cap letter for m eSH® coverage of international drugs and pharmaceutical names is being expanded and enhanced. MeSH is adding trade names for drugs from certain countries to descriptor records and Supplementary Concept Records (SCRs) in MeSH. The countries are Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States and Puerto Rico.

The project has several aims. The enrichment of the drug vocabulary with trade name equivalents will increase the access points to relevant information in PubMed® and in other sources indexed with MeSH for both consumers and providers. Additionally, Americans traveling overseas who receive prescriptions to non-US drugs will be able to have those drugs more easily identified by their own healthcare provider. In a similar way, physicians in the US who treat patients coming in with overseas prescriptions will be able to identify the US equivalents of those drugs more easily.

In the case of overseas trade names, many of these names include diacriticals or accents. They are a fundamental part of the spelling of the word and must be included if the trade name is to be properly represented. To address this issue, MeSH will include characters using 8-bit, UTF-8 representation. At present, the only characters used have been Western European. It is possible that in the future characters from additional languages will be represented.

Each added name includes one or more 2-letter Thesaurus Identifiers (TH) showing the place of origin:









PR=Puerto Rico, US

US=United States

UK=United Kingdom

In addition, the trade name will have a lexical tag (LEX) of TRD, indicating that it is a trade name. The TH and LEX may be seen in the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) and in MeSH's XML data formats.

Entries also include a name indicating the manufacturer and the name for the active constituent produced under that name. For example: within the record for Amobarbital, "Eunoctal" and "Houdé Brand of Amobarbital Sodium" will be present, both with a Thesaurus Identifier of FR. "Eunoctal" will have a lexical tag of TRD.

These names will not appear in the printed Medical Subject Headings but will be treated as non-print entry terms in the 2005 MeSH Browser and the mapping file used for PubMed, the NLM Gateway, and NLM Catalog. This policy is consistent with the current MeSH practice for treatment of trade names.

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By Jacque-Lynne Schulman
MeSH Section

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Schulman JL. Drug Trade Names - Enhanced Access and International Coverage in MeSH®. NLM Tech Bull. 2004 Nov-Dec;(341):e10.


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Last updated: 16 April 2012