A common, generic name selected by designated experts for the unambiguous identification of a new pharmaceutical substance.
The selection process is based on a procedure and guiding principles adopted by the World Health Assembly.
INNs are recommended for worldwide use.
The system was introduced by WHO in 1950 as a means of identifying each pharmaceutical substance or active pharmaceutical ingredient by a unique name that is universally accessible as public property (non-proprietary). It is often identical to the generic name: e.g. diazepam. A brand name (trade name) should not be derived from the INN name.