The pharmaceutical industry is rapidly expanding. When scaling their businesses, companies are expanding their reach to multiple countries and continents. To establish an understanding between branches and customers all over the world, companies need localization and translation services.
In this article, we’ll discuss why pharmaceuticals should consider investing in translation services, what the stages of pharmaceutical translation are, and how to choose a company that will provide services to meet industry standards.
So, as far as medical content is concerned, it needs to be of the highest quality. There is no room for mistakes because translations can affect people’s health and even be a matter of a life or death. Moreover, poorly translated content can end up in a lawsuit, involving significant expense.
Life Sciences is a highly regulated industry. Legal and regulatory requirements are constantly evolving in the Life Science sector to keep up with innovative therapies, diagnostics, and other medical technologies, as well as increased service provision by manufacturers and other suppliers. That’s why it’s essential to ensure the quality of Life Science localization services. Translation services providers must be familiar with the relevant industry and local regulations and follow international quality standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 17100.
Pharmaceutical documentation can be split into 4 groups:
Take a look at the following table to see how various pharmaceutical documentation appears:
|Study and clinical trials protocols||Regulatory services||Pharmaceutical patient information leaflets (PIL)||Packaging and labeling|
|Clinical trial agreements||Training documentation||Named patient medicines||Pharmaceutical and medical patents|
|Pre-clinical reports||CMC documentation||Informed consent forms||Pharmaceutical summary of product characteristics|
|Pharmaceutical research documents||QOLs and other PROs||Instructions-for-use inserts||Market surveys|
|Clinical trial support||Data sheets||Dossiers||Supply of overseas licensed pharmaceuticals|
|Scientific articles||Drug registration documentation||Patient recruitment materials||Pharmaceutical leaflets and bulletins|
|Manuals for research laboratories||Patient diaries||Patents and patent applications|
|Case reports and case report forms|
Translation starts with examining technical terminology. The expert reads the material carefully in the source language, highlighting words and medical terms they are not familiar with. With a list of words that require in-depth research, the translator uses dictionaries, glossaries, and help from experts to determine the meanings of the words in question.
Picking a localization services provider for your business is a challenging task. The complexity and narrow focus of pharmaceutical documentation calls for a skilled translator familiar with medical and scientific terminology. Accuracy and precision are also required due to the delicate nature of these documents; a single mistake may bring severe consequences not only to the business but to human life as well. Let’s discuss the essential criteria for a translation provider.
In pharmaceutical translation, quality is a must. The company you are planning to entrust with the localization of your documents should ensure the best quality standards. Check case studies, testimonials, and company reviews. A respectable company would also hold internationally recognized certification, such as the following ISO standards:
In business, time is money, so meeting deadlines and delivering translated documents on time is a must for a translation service provider. It is advised to discuss deadline policy with the company: how fast they can deliver materials translated, how flexible time frames are and what happens if deadlines are not met.
Ideally, the expert that will potentially be assigned to your translation project should be a native of the chosen language, be a professional translator and hold a medical degree. A translator like this is hard to find, so this is the biggest value a translation service provider brings to your product.
Get to know the company’s cycle of translation: who the people that are going to work on your project are, what their roles are, how competent they are with the chosen language and field, what the key stages of the translation process are and what result is expected at the end of each one.
Take a look at the company’s clients and their feedback. While it is not so important for a company to work with big names like Pfizer, if a company has testimonials and reviews from companies in the same field as yours, they might be a good fit for you.
The company you are ordering a pharmacological translation service from should know you are not supposed to be a master of a foreign language or expert translator. It is their work to explain translation details and give you advice and guidance throughout the translation. Even after the work is finished, in the event of translation errors, they should provide support and corrections.