About the BAN

The British Approved Name (BAN) is a unique name assigned to a pharmaceutical substance by the British Pharmacopoeia Commission (BPC) to ensure standardisation and clarity in drug nomenclature. The BP publishes the BAN every 5 years with annual supplements.

British Approved Names (BAN) are

  • the non-proprietary name or generic name for an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for use in the UK
  • distinctive names for use with medicines in the UK
  • harmonised with the English form of the recommended international non-proprietary name (rINN)

The BAN publication is the official dictionary of drug names for regulatory use in the UK. Each entry includes:

  • the official pronunciation guide
  • systematic name
  • molecular formula
  • molecular structure
  • CAS registry number
  • pharmacological action and/or medicinal use

You can find information about applying for a BAN

We have also created a handy video guide to show you how you can access BAN online