MedNet INN services
The WHO MedNet offers on-line information services related to INNs which are free of charge to its members.
International Nonproprietary Names or INNs are selected in close collaboration with national nomenclature commissions (e.g. BAN, DCF, DCIt, JAN , USAN, etc.). The INN Programme assigns International Nonproprietary Names to medicinal substances through a broad consultative process. Instances where a national nonproprietary name for a new pharmaceutical substance is different from the INN are rare exceptions.
As unique names, INNs have to be distinctive in sound and spelling, and should not be liable to confusion with other names in common use (e.g. trade marks). To make INNs universally available they are formally placed by WHO in the public domain, hence their designation as nonproprietary. They can be used without any restriction whatsoever to identify pharmaceutical substances.