Acute addition prohibited by the court

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The court prohibits "acute" as a misleading addition to the name.

The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) points out that the addition "acute" may only be used for drugs that act quickly or at least faster than other drugs. The background is a now final judgment of the Cologne Administrative Court (Az. 7 K 6757/10 - VG Cologne) on an omeprazole-containing and pharmacy-only drug

The manufacturer wanted to apply for the supplement with the active ingredient content of 20 mg before the administrative court of Cologne the additional name "acute" after it was released from the prescription requirement.

The judges did not approve the application. The reason given was that the drug did not work very quickly. However, consumers would associate the term “acute” in the drug name with a quick effect and would not conclude that “acute forms” of illnesses are treated.

The manufacturer wanted to appeal to the North Rhine-Westphalia Higher Administrative Court against this judgment. However, the court rejected the application for admission of the appeal (Az. 13 A 719/13 - OVG NRW). The decision of the Cologne Administrative Court is now final.

BfArM President Walter Schwerdtfeger sees the judgment as an important contribution to consumer protection: "Patients must be able to rely particularly on the importance of name additions for non-prescription drugs." Their safety should not be jeopardized by misconceptions about the drug and its effects . (fr)

Image: Michael Grabscheit /

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