The Challenges Faced when Translating Documents for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Translating the most seemingly basic documents can pose challenges for even accomplished translators. Incorporating the latest pharmaceutical terminology requires not just an experienced translator; it requires an industry specialist who truly understands their subject matter.

From product inserts through to research and patent documents, all pharmaceutical content requires absolute precision. Pharmaceutical products cost billions of pounds to research and develop, and are provided to patients worldwide, so there is no room for error.

The real challenge comes with pharmaceutical-specific terms differ when used for different applications. For example, language can differ between Summaries of Product Characteristics (SPCs) and Product Information Leaflets (PILs). Whilst the term ‘ophthalmic ointment’ may be suited towards an SPC, ‘eye ointment’ would be used in a PIL. Understanding the importance of differentiating between pharmaceutical document applications and terms best suited for each is essential.

This is where a specialist translator comes in, who can read and translate fluently without error. In order to do this, they require the expertise and experience that other, more general translators can’t provide in that subject field. Only a translator with background experience in the pharmaceutical industry would be able to clearly understand that different terms are required for different applications. The consequences of these translations being inaccurate or incorrect can be substantial in terms of both cost and time.

Choosing the Right Translation Company

Not all translation companies can offer this level of quality; it requires very careful translator recruitment, ensuring experts are available to cover all industry bases. They may not have these industry specialists available, or may even use ‘machine translation’ software. This poses obvious risks to not only to the quality of translations, but overall accuracy. There is no place for inaccurate translations not only in the pharmaceutical industry, but also anywhere in business.

Alexika offer a high quality and efficient pharmaceutical translation service to suit your requirements. Get in touch today to find out how we can help.