Get ready to vote: FiercePharma's #FierceMadness drug name tournament is back

Jump into #FierceMadness to vote this week among drugs from J&J, Bayer, Amgen, Merck, Teva and more. (Carly Helfand)

**Voting for Round 1 has closed. See the results here and vote in the Sweet 16 here.**

Let's face it: The annual March Madness college basketball tournament is cancelled, and everyone is bummed—FiercePharma staffers included. However, in a sincere bid to continue our own tournament—and for some borderline absurd, distracting fun you can have while working from home—we are again running the #FierceMadness tournament, now in its fifth year. (Honestly, who couldn't use a little diversion from the onslaught of coronavirus news?)

While nothing can replace the dynamic, full-court-press drama many thrive on during the college tourney, we think the #FierceMadness drug-name matchups have plenty of potential for non-contact competition. Just look at the play-in round alone, where we’ve got real-life market rivals from disease areas such as migraine and prostate cancer going head-to-head.

Never played before? Here's how it works.

We’ve chosen 68 of the best and most unusual drug names to come out of the 2018 and 2019 crop of new approvals. Whittling down to 68 was our staff challenge for Selection Sunday, and now it’s up to you, the readers, to deliberate and vote down to the final winner.

Click here to download the printable bracket

The full, 64-name round will launch on Monday, March 23, but between now and then, we have a round featuring eight play-in names competing for four spots. 

Ready to play? Grab one of our printable brackets, fill in your predictions for the winners of each matchup, and tweet us a photo of your completed picks before Friday by 10 p.m. ET. That’s also the deadline for voting on the four play-in matchups that’ll help us get our 64 contenders set for tipoff on Monday. (Any remote robo-voting will be noted, and those votes will be discarded. Please play fair.)

After that, we’ll be back with a new round each Monday and Wednesday through April 13. Don’t forget to tell us why you picked what you picked, and what you think each drug name really sounds like. We gladly welcome any re-channeling of basketball Madness energy into your drug-name commentary and votes. We’ll include the funniest and most out-of-the-box comments in our recaps every round, so make ‘em good!

Good luck, and happy Madness!

— Beth Snyder Bulik (Twitter

Round 1 (Vote here)

Infectious diseases/Primary care

(16) Delstrigo vs. (16) Dovato

Delstrigo
Maker: Merck
Indication: HIV
Sounds like: an Italian cheese brand 

Dovato
Maker: ViiV Healthcare    
Indication: HIV
Sounds like: a well-dressed man

Rare diseases/Miscellaneous

(16) Doptelet vs. (16) Mulpleta

Doptelet
Maker: AkaRx/Dova
Indication: thrombocytopenia
Sounds like: unrelated pet twins

Mulpleta
Maker: Shionogi
Indication: thrombocytopenia
Sounds like: new math

Oncology

(16) Nubeqa vs. (16) Erleada

Nubeqa    
Maker: Bayer
Indication: prostate cancer
Sounds like: a Pacific island vacation hotspot

Erleada    
Maker: J&J Janssen
Indication: prostate cancer
Sounds like: a female take-charge boss 

CNS

(16) Aimovig vs. (16) Ajovy

Aimovig 
Maker: Amgen
Indication: migraine
Sounds like: an investment hedge fund

Ajovy
Maker: Teva
Indication: migraine
Sounds like: feeling anxious

Read more on

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