Ever wonder where generic drugs get their names?

Memorable brand names are usually developed by marketing teams, but who comes up with the scientific-sounding, often difficult to pronounce names for generic prescription drugs? According to the Los Angeles Times, generic drug names are curated by the United States Adopted Names (USAN) program, a department within the American Medical Association composed of two women, Stephanie Shubat and Gail Karet, both scientists.

The pair’s naming process is as follows: They develop names for each of the nearly 200 annual drug applications, then their recommendations go to the five-member USAN Council, which meets twice a year, according to the Times. The names Shubat and Karet come up with are based on classifications of drugs and chemical relationships — the “stems” of drug names that treat similar symptoms typically sound the same or resemble each other, the LA Times explains.