The last two years, each in their own ways, were great for branded pharma companies. They brought the rise of immuno-oncology, the lead-up to pharma’s beloved tax reform, and the appointment of the industry’s first woman CEO. They also saw the public—or federal officials, at least—largely forget about drug-pricing controversy.
And 2017 was particularly fruitful for industry players, with the FDA clearing 46 novel small-molecule drugs, as well as a handful of key biologics, a new blockbuster vaccine prospect and a pair of groundbreaking CAR-T treatments.
But you know what they were missing? A bordering-on-absurd, tournament-style drug name challenge. And now, we’re back to make sure 2018 doesn’t suffer the same fate.
After last year’s successful DTC showdown, #FierceMadness is going back to its roots as a quest to determine the best new drug name. We’ve pulled our favorites from 2016 and 2017 to fill out a field of 68, and now it’s up to you to decide the victor.
First things first, though: Grab one of our printable brackets, predict the winners of each matchup, and tweet us a photo of your completed picks before Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET. That’ll also be the deadline for voting on the four play-in matchups that’ll help us get our 64 contenders set for tipoff on Wednesday.
After that, we’ll be back with a new round each Monday and Wednesday through April 4, so we’ll need you to vote your favorite names through to the championship round. And don’t forget to tell us why you picked what you picked, and (our favorite) what you think each drug name really sounds like. We’ll pick the cleverest, funniest and out-of-the-box comments to feature in our recaps of each round, so make ‘em good!
Good luck, and happy Madness!
Round 1 (Vote here)
Infectious diseases/Primary care
(16) Tymlos vs. (16) Symproic
Indication: osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
Sounds like: the Greek god of procrastination
Maker: Purdue Pharma
Indication: opioid-induced constipation
Sounds like: the Lion King's lost brother
(16) Parsabiv vs. (16) Giapreza
Indication: secondary hyperparathyroidism
Sounds like: a popular Gen Z root vegetable
Maker: La Jolla
Indication: increasing blood pressure in patients with septic shock
Sounds like: your favorite frozen pizza brand
(16) Nerlynx vs. (16) Alunbrig
Indication: early stage HER2-positive breast cancer
Sounds like: the most predatory of felines
Indication: ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer
Sounds like: the Viking deity for sailors imprisoned at sea
(16) Tremfya vs. (16) Taltz
Maker: Johnson & Johnson
Sounds like: a tribal warrior cry
Maker: Eli Lilly
Indication: psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
Sounds like: a mashup ballroom dance