Lilly & Amylin: Please Keep It Simple

Shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals are rallying on a press release from AMLN and its partners Eli Lilly and Alkermes that their once-a-week version of the injectable diabetes drug Byetta (buy-ate-uh) lowered blood sugar levels more than the pills Januvia from Merck and Actos from Takeda.

The headline of the press release uses the names "Sitagliptin" and "Pioglitazone." It crossed the wires while I was driving to work, so I pulled over to send a Tweet on Twitter about it. (You can follow me, by the way, at mhuckman.)

Then, in the text of the release, they use those scientific drug names again. Why can't companies put the more well-known brand names of drugs in parentheses in situations like this? For example, "...Sitagliptin (Januvia) or Pioglitazone (Actos)...." Would it kill them to mention the name of a competitor's drug, especially when the study they're talking about showed their drug to work better than their rivals' product? Or is there some kind of trademark issue I'm not aware of? I'm not a lawyer.

I was pretty sure Sitagliptin was Januvia, but because it had been awhile since I covered the Rosiglitazone (Avandia) story which affected Actos, I had to spend a couple minutes on the shoulder of the road with my hazards on going to Google on my BlackBerry just to make sure I had the brand names correct before sending the Tweet and calling in the news to the "CNBC Alerts Desk."

Some might call it nitpicking, but I think it's just a simple request to make a corporate communication more user-friendly and easier to understand at a quick glance. And in this 24-7, instantaneous news culture we're in, it's all about speed and, as always, accuracy.

LLY, AMLN and ALKS are expected to soon file for FDA approval of once-a-week Byetta.

Questions? Comments? and follow me on Twitter at mhuckman