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The food & drug administration seems to have it a little backwards when it starts to "negotiate' with a drug marketer because FDA has trouble with a brand name. Not with the advertising, apparently, but the product name, which FDA presumably reviewed and cleared before it was put on the market. Was that agency asleep at the wheel back then when approval was given?

The immediate problem for joint marketers G.D. Searle & Co. and Pfizer is that they have direct-to-consumer ad plans ready to roll for hot new anti-arthritis drug Celebrex, and it seems the FDA says they can't do branded ads -- only unbranded, generic ads touting the condition and that the marketers have an available solution. The marketers were planning unbranded ads initially, anyway, but the controversy over use of branded ads seems to arise because of complaints about consumer confusion between Celebrex, for arthritis, and Cerebyx, for epileptic seizures, and Celexa, a medication to treat depression.

Yet it's only now, after Celebrex's celebrated introduction, that FDA is talking about getting the brand name changed. But FDA played a part in creating the problem by letting these meaningless mixtures of C and Z and E and L and X onto the market, (Maybe it's the consultants that come up with RX names like this that should also be scolded.)

The time for the FDA to worry about the brand name is not after the product is