Interpreting and the Medical and Life Sciences sectors

The life sciences make a major contribution to improving our quality of life with applications in medicine and pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food science. For those working in this sector, whether assessing symptoms, checking trial results or advising on dosage, accurate communication is vital.

Our interpreting team has extensive experience in this field, using our highly specialist interpreters to assist clients across the UK, Europe, Russia and further afield. A recent project, for example, saw us putting together a team of interpreters to assist auditors working on the source data verification of a clinical trial for an oncology treatment conducted in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Our remit was also to provide accurate costings, arrange travel and accommodation, brief the interpreters in advance of each site visit and review performance afterwards. Over several months, we helped with 19 separate meetings assigning specialist interpreters on a one-to-one basis to the auditors who had travelled from the US and Europe to analyse the huge amounts of data collected for its accuracy and validity.  The languages involved included Bosnian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian and Ukrainian.

These projects are extremely demanding with a small team working long hours to exacting deadlines in order to validate the study. A large part of how successfully things ran on-site was down to finding the right team of interpreters. Selecting them on the basis of their language ability, knowledge of medical subject matter and previous experiences of working in an audit environment, allowed us to pre-empt requirements and work in conjunction with the auditors to create a time efficient process. Where possible, we used the same teams of interpreters in each country to build their familiarity with both the actual study and the auditing teams.  In many cases the visits were organised to particularly tight timeframes, often 48 hours or less.

Creating the circumstances whereby the language support allows a trial like this to be completed on time and budget and contributing to the introduction of new medical treatments is a hugely rewarding part of our job.

In addition to other clinical trials and audits for national bodies including the FDA and Korean Drug Authority, our interpreters have assisted at review meetings for the introduction of new treatments with the relevant European agencies and at Data Monitoring and Virtual Advisory Boards to support best practice and on-going trials.

Their specialist knowledge of medical terminology has also been used for conferences covering topics as diverse as wound therapy, nephrology, oncology and respiratory disease as well at events to launch new treatments to both medical professionals and the media and international legal hearing relating to medical patents.

Life sciences may be a multi-million dollar industry but the values of cost-efficiency and proven value remain key and our team is happy to use its knowledge to make this happen.