The Committee was informed of the current activities of the programme on international nonproprietary names (INNs) for pharmaceutical substances. It agreed that there was a case for increased protection of INNs, as pointed out in the fifth report of the WHO Expert Committee on the Use of Essential Drugs (1). The difficulty of establishing appropriate names for the wide range of compounds produced by biotechnology was recognized. It was agreed that wide consultation with experts from the relevant disciplines would be advisable to establish policy in this field.
The Committee noted that guidelines for the drawing of graphic formulae for pharmaceutical substances were in preparation, an area where global harmonization is needed.