Language Service Providers: A Pharmaceutical Company’s Best Friend


Pharmaceutical companies are in the business of delivering effective drugs to market. This is a monumental feat requiring complex, time consuming and expensive processes which includes conducting cross-cultural clinical trials, obtaining international regulatory approval and dealing with vastly different cultures. (No wonder it costs so much!)  And while these mighty giants are good at what they do, they occasionally need a best friend to rely on to help them make it to the finish line.

One of the best ways smart pharma companies streamline this complex international process is by working with a life-sciences language service provider, or LSPs. An experienced LSP is key to making each phase run more smoothly and successfully. Here is how having such a friend can help:

They help with clinical trials.

Did you know that nearly half of all clinical trials take place outside the United States? According to ClinicalTrials.gov, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, 60.3% of clinical trials take place outside of the United States, so accurate clinical trial translations are a must.

In order to recruit subjects for a trial, your campaign must reflect a deep understanding of the culture. You need to know not only the country’s language, but it’s attitude toward science and medicine. What is the best way to reach potential trial volunteers? Do they prefer to obtain their messaging digitally, in print or from TV or radio? Should the message speak directly to women or should it target the male head-of-households who will then decide on whether their wives will participate? Should all advertising be targeted towards doctors who pass on the information through speaking with their patients? All these questions matter. A translation agency with a thorough knowledge of the local culture can help you reliably transcreate content that achieves this.

You also need to be able to communicate with clinical investigators. Language issues can cause mistakes, slowdowns, or even terminate a trial, therefore it is crucial to use someone who knows the language. An LSP with professional translators who are subject matter experts (SMEs) in the field under study are like golden tickets to successfully run trials.

They deal with regulations and more regulations

Just as many states in the US have their own laws and rules, the same goes for healthcare in each country or region.  The processes, rules, regulations, and time involved all vary depending on where you are in the world. Approvals need to be obtained and registration acquired. And you have to market your medication as well. It can certainly be daunting without a flawless translation company by your side. Let them translate, proofread, validate and worry about compliance and all those pesky regulatory agency requirements. Rest easy knowing your materials will be of high quality and done in the most-timely manner possible.

They get medical information where it needs to be.

Trying to reach doctors and patients about a new medication needs a polished, targeted marketing strategy. Just as with clinical trials, you need to know the best course to take.

These days most companies use a website to get the news of a new medication to physicians and future patients. While statistics show that English may still be the most popular language online with 25.4 percent of worldwide internet users, it is not the only language. If a pharma company only provides an English-only website, they are technically missing out on telling over 70% of internet users about their new medication.

Translating your website is only half the battle, however.  All supporting documents should also be translated and updated along with your website.  This takes time, though, so call on your LSP to launch your product worldwide with transcreated content optimized for each local language and culture you are targeting. LSPs also use multilingual search engine optimizations (SEOs) for each of your sites to enable local doctors and patients to find your site.

They give you an edge.

A full-service, knowledgeable LSP will help you gain a competitive edge over other pharmaceutical companies. Your new medication will no longer be restricted by country or language boundaries. Reach millions of potential patients and doctors, avoid miscommunication and save both money and time by working with your new best friend, the LSP.

By Ilona Knudson

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