BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2454 (Published 11 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2454

Why do so many branded drug names contain an X or a Z? Think Xanax, Zantac, Zocor, and Zoladex. Apparently, it is because short, zappy names with X or Z tend to be associated with technology and innovation and are thought to convey a subliminal indication of power. Other favoured consonants are D and a hard C, which harden the sound of the product name, conveying greater efficacy (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2010:284:322 www.pjonline.com).

After several failed attempts to be included in Medline, Deutsches Ärzteblatt—the journal of Germany’s medical association and a popular read among German doctors—finally made the grade in 2008. The reasons given for being excluded from Medline included its dominant appearance as a political magazine rather than a scientific journal. Exclusion meant it failed to attract good quality papers. The solution was to launch a separate online edition in English of just the scientific section of the journal. Free of political …

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