One of the principles that underlies all of our work is that a text can’t be adequately translated unless it’s adequately understood.  We apply that to all projects, regardless of size or sector, but if there’s one Wolfestone client group that values this attention to detail above all others, it’s our pharmaceutical industry clients. Clients who use our services in this sector typically need a pinpoint-accurate representation of clinical language.  Mistakes could have measureless consequences, and as the market continues to expand the stakes grow progressively higher.

Industry forecasters predict that the global drug market will advance from its current size of $900 billion to approach $1 trillion by the end of 2012, and this growth is being powered by emerging economies.  IMS Health, an industry data specialist, has identified 17 emerging markets in which pharmaceutical sales are growing at a rate of between 15 and 25 per cent year on year. This makes a striking contrast with English speaking bastions Canada and the USA, which are currently experiencing annual growth of a more modest 1-2 per cent.

The BRICS nationsBrazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are, not surprisingly, leading the surge in demand.  Markets in Mexico, Pakistan, Vietnam and Indonesia are also growing dramatically.  The requirement for accurate translations often begins with patent documents needed to secure intellectual property rights for new products and procedures.  Wolfestone clients typically require translations of detailed product specifications, and  subsequent promotional work will include localization of websites, brochures, and a wide range of marketing materials.  As well as focusing on the cultural aspects of localisation, our pharmaceutical clients need first and foremost to satisfy stringent regulatory requirements.  It’s a challenge that we’re delighted to help them meet.

One client that’s met these challenges and many more is Biotec Services International. Over the past fifteen years the Bridgend based company has built a reputation as a specialist provider of support for clinical trials.  From a purpose built head office facility, Biotec supports multinational trials which pave the way for clients across the globe to take new products to market.

Their credibility in the industry is impeccable, thanks to a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory processes for all their target markets and their proven ability to deliver what clients need, when they need it, no matter what their specialism or location.  Biotec can store, assemble, label and dispatch products at temperatures ranging from controlled ambient to minus 196°C, and their ongoing investment in staff training and development ensures that customer service standards and technical standards remain uniformly high.  Biotec is a genuine Welsh and British success story, and it’s not surprising that they apply the same high standards to their localisation strategy as they do to all other aspects of their business.

For Wolfestone clients in the pharmaceutical sector, the need for accurate professional translation isn’t a cultural choice, it’s a regulatory requirement. We recently spoke with a client who referred with wry amusement to a movie whose main plot twist involved a patient being given incorrect test results. The patient was led to be believe that they were terminally ill, and discovered a new lease of life.  The movie had a happy ending, but for Wolfestone’s clients and for the people who depend on them, real life happy endings depend on accurate, timely  information, translated expertly by industry specialists.

By putting your projects in our hands, you gain access to an unrivalled network of linguists who’ll apply their skill and commitment to give you the service you deserve. We’ll give you a real life happy ending.

DAVID JONES

 

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  • Paul Chammings

    Yes – clearly this is a market that has a legal requirement and without being over dramatic a “life or death” requirement for accurate translation. I’m aware of Biotec as a niche service provider with a sound reputation, particularly in the Middle East and Far East.

    One thing I’d raise – the use of genuine specialists in pharma translation work is key. It’s not enough to have passed GCSE Chemistry and read a few aspirin labels. I know clients pushing into the Middle East for example, some are attending the BioMed exhibition in Tel Aviv next week, and I know they’d rather have no translation at all than a translation by a non-specialist.

    • Now that you mentioned the BioMed exhibition it is thought to be the biggest life sciences convention outside the US and 1000 plus visitor are expected to show up with this event from different countries.

  • Adele Marinescu

    This is correct and it is a big cause of regret that Romania tax laws are providing an obstruction to Pharmaceuticals companies working in our country. To support our healthcare system we demand that Pharmaceuticals companies pay “claw back” tax on their revenues. The intention is to raise revenues but if we only make comapnies stay away this is hardly conducive! I know of the repute of Biotec and I would be happy to see a Biotec presence in Romania but like other clients in this sector they are surely dissuade by punitive tax and also by the slow manner of new product inclusion on our official list of compensated medicines. I agree with this article that Pharmaceuticals is an excellent industry but I wish that Romania was more welcoming.

  • Thanks Paul and Adele for your comments. I agree that a poor translation is worse than none at all, particularly for clients in this sector whose need for accuracy could hardly be greater.

    Some time ago I read a report, originally published in the Pediatrics Journal, highlighting the problems with poor pharmaceutical translation. Pharmacies relying on machine translations for English to Spanish translations were found to be issuing inaccurate information and incurring a genuine health risk. Researchers looked at 76 medicine labels generated by 13 different computer programs and found an overall error rate of 50 per cent. I read this in the Chicago Tribune and the link is below:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-05-12/health/ct-x-c-spanglish-prescriptions-20100512_1_error-rate-pharmacies-spanish

    We believe in delivering accurate translations for any client in any sector, but when errors can threaten not only the reputations of our clients but the lives of their customers, the stakes are far too high to roll the dice with a non-specialist, or worse still a machine translation. Companies such as Biotec are succeeding by delivering precision in everything they do, and we owe them the same quality of service.