[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 22, 1966


JAMA. 1966;197(8):654-655. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110080094030

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Pharmaceutical preparations containing radioactive elements have assumed increasing significance in the diagnosis and treatment of disease as well as in pharmacological studies attempting to establish the mechanisms of drug action. It is not surprising that the medical literature has also been enriched by constantly increasing numbers of reports on the use of these products. Unfortunately, the various styles of nomenclature used to describe these products in the earlier reports appeared to hinder dissemination of this information.

In 1963, when the United States Adopted Names (USAN) Council undertook to adopt nonproprietary names for radioactive pharmaceuticals, it made a study of the existing styles of nomenclature. As a result, the USAN Council formulated the general principle that for these drugs the nonproprietary designation should include the name of the basic compound serving as a carrier for the radioactivity, the symbol for the radioactive isotope and the atomic weight (inasmuch as several radioactive