Pharma companies are under tremendous pressure to deliver the next billion dollar drug. In 2016, the 15 top-selling prescription drugs generated between $4.3 and $16 billion of revenue. Getting a drug to market, however, involves an extremely complex, time consuming and expensive process that is made even more complicated by today’s globalized cross-border clinical trials, international regulatory approvals, and vastly different cultural markets.
Smart pharmaceutical organizations are always on the lookout for any way to remove bottlenecks and streamline the process. One of the best ways to do this is by investing in an experienced life-sciences language service provider (LSP). The right LSP can be the key to making each phase of this complicated international process run more smoothly and successfully.
Trouble-free clinical trials
According to ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, 47% of trials today take place outside of the United States – which makes accurate clinical trial translations an absolute must. Here’s why:
- Successful recruitment of subjects for a trial – This requires a multimedia campaign that reflects and leverages a deep understanding of the local language, culture and attitude toward science and medicine. On-point, accurate brand messaging that speaks to potential volunteers is vital to the process, whether it’s delivered digitally, in print, on TV, or on the radio. A translation agency with a genuine knowledge of the local culture can help you reliably transcreate content that achieves this.
- Good communication with clinical investigators – This is critical to any trial and can be especially difficult when conducted in a foreign language. Language issues can cause mistakes, work slowdowns, or even put a full halt to the trial. To avoid this, pharmaceutical companies should seek out an experienced LSP that can match foreign clinical trials with professional translators who are subject matter experts (SME) in the field under study.
Jumping through hoops around the world
When it comes to health, each country or region has own its rules, regulations, and processes. Acquiring all of the approvals needed for the international development, registration, protection, and marketing of a medication is a daunting task.
The right LSP can make sure all of your documentation is flawlessly translated for each country, reviewed, validated, and in compliance with the specific requirements of each regulatory agency. It’s one-stop shopping at its best: Costs are kept under control, the high quality of your materials is assured, and your approvals are acquired in the most timely manner possible.
Getting medical information to local doctors and patients
It’s one thing to release a new medication, and quite another to ensure it reaches the patients for whom it’s intended. It’s imperative to stage an effective rollout in each country via a marketing strategy that ensures local physicians know of its availability for their patients.
These days, a website is the best way for getting word out internationally regarding a new medication, and a great way to provide ongoing support. However, less than a third of current internet users speak English. If all a company offers is an English website, they’re missing out on communication with nearly 70% of internet users, including people who could benefit from knowing about the drug.
A straight translation of an English site offers a partial solution, but often fails to include the translation of supporting documentation and tends to be left out of routine updates – which renders their content less and less useful to a non-English-speaking audience as time goes by. Another option is to roll out web content country-by-country, working your way across the globe – but launching a product this way can take an extended amount of time.
The best option is to work with an LSP that can provide what’s needed to launch your product simultaneously worldwide, with transcreated content that’s expertly optimized for each local language and culture. LSPs can deploy multilingual SEO for each site version to help local doctors, payers, and patients find it online via different search engines. The LSP may also be able to set up a multilingual content management system so that the site can be refreshed locally as needed.
Secret ingredient for success
A strong, full-service LSP can provide a significant competitive advantage to any pharmaceutical company that wants to get a new medication out into the world. It can help sidestep problems of miscommunication and save money and time in the process.