The British Pharmacopoeia Website

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

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British Approved Names

A dictionary of drug names for regulatory use in the United Kingdom; incorporating International Nonproprietary Names.

A British Approved Name (BAN) is the official non-proprietary name (also known as a generic name) given to a pharmaceutical substance for use in the UK. BANs are short, distinctive names for substances where the systematic chemical or other scientific names are too complex for convenient use.

The British Pharmacopoeia Commission (BPC) devise or select British Approved Names. BAN are adopted where required for those substances that are subject of a British Pharmacopoeia monograph and for products with a UK marketing authorisation. The English language form of a recommended International Nonproprietary Name (rINN) is adopted as the BAN. Where a rINN cannot be assigned to a medicinal product a BAN may be assigned for use in the UK.

Download BAN application form in Word format.

Download BAN application form in pdf format.

British Approved Names 2012

British Approved Names 2012 (BAN 2012), with an effective date of 1st January 2012, is available to purchase from The Stationery Office.

BAN 2012 provides the following specific information about each pharmaceutical substance:

Key features also included within the BAN 2012 publication are guidelines for the construction of pharmaceutical trademarks (also known as invented names) and a guide to the systematic chemical nomenclature system.

The BAN 2012 publication is an essential reference resource for those working on producing technical pharmaceutical documentation, including those in regulatory affairs. It helps to ensure compliance with non-proprietary names and consistency of systematic chemical names. It is an important reference material for anyone involved in the pharmaceutical industry to verify molecular and graphic formulae and to ascertain the correct pronunciation of names.

Supplements to the British Approved Names 2012 Publication

Supplements to the BAN 2012 publication are listed below.

BAN 2012, Supplement No. 4 will become available in August 2015 with an effective date of 1st January 2016.
Please email the BPC Expert Advisory Group: Nomenclature Secretariat through for further information on British Approved Names and nomenclature issues.