A birth-control pill by any other name

Yasmin_1So lately we’ve been seeing ads for this birth-control pill called Yasmin, and even though it’s been for sale under that name, particularly in Europe, for some time, it strikes us as a really peculiar name for that kind of drug. (The FDA is thinking of approving it in the U.S. in a low-dose version, which is bound to spur more advertising—and broader brand recognition for the product—in late 2005.)

We get the idea here. Women want to have warm and fuzzy associations with their birth-control pills, to make it seem less like they’re taking a prescription drug. Better than naming it drospirenone, which is the ingredient in Yasmin that separates it from similar products. But still … Yasmin? Why couldn’t someone have trademarked that name for a perfume instead?

According to an unimpeachable source, Andy the Name Bender, the name is originally associated with the jasmine flower and, of course, has been a fairly popular girl’s name. At least it was, until it became the name of a birth-control pill.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor