By Jack Fischer, Business Development Manager – Life Sciences division
If you work in the life sciences, then your job contributes to saving lives around the world. Diagnostics and other medical devices help physicians evaluate and prevent disease. Pharmaceutical products inhibit the progression of diseases. New and improved research tools broaden the scope of research outcomes and expedite the results upon which novel treatments are based.
With that said, there are two constants that life science professionals must face: the existence of patients beyond your initial market, and the need to convince your colleagues that certain risks associated with international initiatives needed to reach these patients can be mitigated. More often than not, your colleagues will have to convince others as well.
Across industries and around the world, 83% of consumers feel that having pre-purchase information in their own language is a critical factor in decision making. When it comes to decisions about health, that number is even higher. High-quality translations performed by a specialized team represent a highly effective tool for reaching global health consumers and decision makers, as well as international stakeholders.
With the cost to gain 510k approval for a low-risk medical device commonly exceeding $31 million, and the overall cost to develop and win marketing approval for a new pharmaceutical product exceeding $1.3 billion, expanding your target patient populations is a financially attractive proposition, . In order to manage the regulatory risk, and realize the potential of your international initiatives, clear communication across language barriers is imperative. Regulatory bodies must be absolutely confident about the methods and data you present to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of your treatment in your submissions. Physicians and patient community groups need translated education materials to inform productive & empathetic conversations about condition management.
When it comes to life sciences translation, it’s critical that your team or partnership be led by experts. Ensuring that your translation partner employs a highly-qualified team of medically-proficient linguists is critical to overcoming the language barrier. In-country linguists help incorporate cultural awareness that allows for a more fluid narrative, while retaining technical expertise. While cost-effectiveness is important, the potential loss of rejection for a regulatory submission or a clinical trial application far outweigh the cost of high-quality translations. Choosing a translation provider that can execute against these parameters can be the difference between approval and rejection for a regulatory checkpoint, enrollment in a clinical trial, compliance during audits, and adoption in your physicians’ offices.
While high-quality translations may seem like a small detail in the context of development costs, they are actually a key component to expanding your market and reaching more patients. They ensure the work of your regulatory, quality, and marketing teams are accurately represented on the international stage, allowing your company to reach your most crucial performance indicators with international stakeholders.
Going the extra mile to find a translations team that is experienced, informed, and committed to your success represents the best insurance you can buy for reaching patients and increasing revenues abroad. Plus, by helping share your treatments across borders, you can help improve countless lives.
 Common Sense Advisory, 2016
 Steinberg, D., Horwitz, G., & Zohar, D. (2015). Building a business model in digital medicine. Nature biotechnology, 33(9), 910-920.
 Joseph A. DiMasi, Henry G. Grabowski, Ronald W. Hansen, Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry: New estimates of R&D costs, Journal of Health Economics, Volume 47, May 2016, Pages 20-33, ISSN 0167-6296, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2016.01.012.
Jack Fischer is a Business Development Manager at Morningside’s Life Sciences division. After researching Tuberculosis genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and working with numerous biotechnology startups in New York, Jack moved to Morningside in order to apply his expertise to developing and implementing translation solutions for the life sciences industry. Jack has a dual B.A from Skidmore College in Integrative Biology & Business.