Translation Management Process – An Overview
2 min read

In today's globalized world, the need for accurate and efficient label translation is more critical than ever, especially in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry. The translation management process is a complex series of steps that ensures that documents, product information, and clinical trial data are accurately translated and meet the Regulatory requirements of different countries. This blog post provides an overview of the translation management process, focusing on the pharmaceutical sector and Regulatory labeling.

Introduction to Translation Management

Translation management is the systematic approach to translating documents and texts from one language to another while maintaining the integrity and meaning of the original content. In the pharmaceutical industry, this process is not just about language conversion but also about ensuring compliance with Regulatory standards and cultural appropriateness.

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Preparation for Translation

The first step in the label translation management process is preparation. Marketing Authorization Holders (MAHs) are advised to prepare well in advance, especially following the adoption of the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) recommendation for variation. Early preparation allows for the optimization of translation quality within the short timeframes typically available for finalization.

The Translation Process

The translation process involves several key steps:

1. Initial Translation: This is performed by native speakers or translators fluent in the target language. For high-quality outcomes, human expertise is crucial, and translations should be performed by professionals with the right expertise in clinical trial research and plain language communication.

2. Review and Revision: After the initial label translation, a review by a third person, preferably with expertise in the subject matter, is recommended. This step can include back-translation, which involves translating the document back into the source language to check for accuracy.

3. Linguistic Review: Depending on the type of Regulatory procedure and whether a Commission Decision is required, the timelines and need for a linguistic review may vary. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) coordinates this labeling process, especially when multiple MAHs are involved.

4. Quality Control: Controlled workflows with built-in quality checks help achieve high translation quality. Technology and automation tools, such as Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools and translation memories, can enhance language accuracy and consistency.

Implementation and Follow-up

Once the translation is complete, a commitment from all parties involved is required. This includes providing good-quality translations and complying with comments from Member States. If a translation is of poor quality, the Member State concerned should inform the MAH and the Agency, and the transmission to the European Commission will be delayed until an amended translation is received.

Dissemination and Accessibility

The translated documents, particularly the Lay Summaries (LS) of clinical trials, should be made available as soon as possible to ensure fair availability of information to all patients and the public. The dissemination through the EU Database and beyond is a critical step in the process.


The translation management process is vital for Regulatory compliance in the pharmaceutical industry. It requires careful planning, expertise, and the use of technology to ensure that translations are accurate, culturally appropriate, and compliant with Regulatory standards. By understanding and implementing a robust labeling translation management process, pharmaceutical companies can effectively communicate with Regulatory bodies and patients across different regions, ensuring that vital health information is accessible to all.

Remember, the labeling translation management process is not just about converting words from one language to another; it's about bridging the gap between cultures and Regulatory environments to facilitate global health and safety.

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