Why You Should Brand Your Drug Delivery Medical Device

Is it advantageous to name the medical devices used in concert with a drug? If the pharmaceutical already has a differentiating brand name, is it important to differentiate the medical devices that administer the medication? Let’s look deeper and dive into some examples.

Clarification: From a practical perspective, naming the device can provide essential information related to the drug/device combination and help consumers and HCPs understand how to use it. When the device is vital to drug delivery, the device name can help communicate that relationship.

The type 2 diabetes product, TRULICITY, was marketed without a name association for its delivery device. Its name provided no clarification for how the drug would be administered – with cartridges or needles or with dosing that was ‘dialed’ or one-time use. In this instance, consumers and HCPs had to rely on marketing and packaging materials for primary product attributes.

In contrast, GSK selected the name ADVAIR DISKUS for their inhaler treatment for Asthma and COPD. This descriptive name provided key information that this version of the drug, ADVAIR, would be administered with a disk-shaped inhaler. Marketing materials instructed consumers to “hold the diskus like a hamburger” for proper use/inhalation position. The simple name, ‘diskus,’ made it easy to understand appropriate usage.

As another example, HUMIRA leveraged an association with a ‘pen’ applicator. The HUMIRA Pen became a natural reference for HCPs and consumers to communicate and understand this drug application.

Other considerations toward the value of naming your medical device include:

    • Brand Differentiation – A device name can distinguish the drug from competitors and between other indications for the same drug. GSK’s first-in-kind ADVAIR DISKUS inhaler innovation also checks the box for this strategy of differentiation.
    • Brand Extension: Device naming can offer opportunities for naming schemes and brand extensions. Sanofi leveraged the STAR suffix in multiple ways for its insulin pen injectors (soloSTAR, JuniorSTAR, & AllStar).
    • Brand Storytelling: An adjoining device brand name, like Amgen’s REPATHA PUSHTRONEX, communicates a dynamic and innovative story without relying solely on the drug name as the singular brand messenger. The PUSHTRONEX name aptly describes a technology-forward hands-free injection dosing device.

These examples demonstrate some distinct advantages of adding a device name to a branded pharmaceutical product. Your naming agency can help you determine the best strategies and applications for your medical devices.