Kaspars Melkis

Sample translation: WHO Assessment Report (pdf document).

The importance of accurate, clear and consistent translations of pharmaceutical texts is undeniable. Patients, carers and healthcare workers utilize these translations in order to take their decisions about treatment, and bearing in mind that any mistake could negatively impact person's health.

Pharmaceutical translations are specific because of the complicated regulations governing the pharmaceutical industry. The regulator is usually a government agency such as the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK, the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency in Japan or the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the EU. Of these agencies the EMA is the one that is most involved with translations owning to the nature of European multilingual population. They require translations for many documents and publish a number of templates to be followed when doing translations. Nevertheless, translations themselves are poorly regulated and are done by numerous third-party suppliers.

On the other hand, pharmaceutical translations require great precision and employ a specific terminology. Regulatory workflow often requires short deadlines which makes the translation process very challenging. Translation should follow specific regulatory templates, clients' glossaries, correct medical terminology and be in concordance with legacy texts.

Examples of different pharmaceutical texts: