Though naming experts might be among our readers, our readers aren’t all naming experts. You are, however, a creative bunch, and in reviewing suggestions for Valeant Pharmaeuticals’ new name, we had a lot of chuckles in the FiercePharma newsroom—plus a few head-scratching moments when an allusion escaped us.
More than a few of you took the assignment seriously, rather than as an excuse to riff on Valeant’s woes, shenanigans and all-around bad reputation that has it considering a name change in the first place.
You’ll recall that last week, Valeant chief Joseph Papa—whose own moniker came into several different company-name nominations—told shareholders that the company was seriously considering shedding its current persona for a new, unsullied one.
And no wonder. Valeant’s image has gone off a cliff, along with its share price, as it faced criticism for aggressive price hikes, investigations into its relationships with the shady specialty pharmacy Philidor, hearings on Capitol Hill, and mounting concern about the massive amount of debt it piled up as it snapped up smaller companies, cut jobs, raised prices and went on to the next deal.
Of the almost 150 suggestions we received, we’ve picked six for your voting pleasure—three serious, three not so much. It wasn’t an easy task. We had to leave out a pair of historical references, Hindenburg Bio-Pharma and Titanic. With multiple nods to Greek and Roman deities among the nominees, we had to discard a few, including Hermes. An allusion to the pricing scandal that first blew the public fuse and its architect, then-Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli—Shkreliant—didn’t make the shortlist either.
We also set aside a trio of left-field nominees that both bewildered and amused us: Papa Smurf’s Sinking Ship Pharmaceuticals, Run Forrest RUN Pharmaceuticals and the truly random Emoji Pharmaceuticals. Greed & Avarice? Snarkily humorous, but no.
A few of the more serious suggestions we also cut, if reluctantly in a couple of cases, weren’t quite serious enough. Ethiceutica, a very direct reference to the ethical image the Valeant-seeking-turnaround might want to adopt. Integris, ditto. And Pillar Pharmaceuticals, apparently suggesting that Valeant would like to be considered a pillar of the biopharma community.
Our final six? Janus Pharmaceuticals, a nod to the Roman god of change and rebirth. Icarus, the oft-cited Greek son of Dedalus who flew too close to the sun with his waxen wings. Fountainhead Pharmaceuticals, alluding to the Ayn Rand novel that’s considered callous in some circles and gospel in others. Salubrix, health plus prescription drugs, which might actually come up in a naming-expert meeting. Phoenix, obviously. And Papa Joe’s, a suggestion that popped up several times, in several iterations.
One suggestion that’s been floated publicly we left off: Bausch & Lomb Pharma or some variant thereof, including the B&L Biopharma suggestion we received more than once.
Pick your favorite through Sunday at midnight. We’ll publish the results Monday. Happy voting!