How do pharmaceutical companies ensure that localized content retains the same technical accuracy as the source content?

Pharmaceutical companies prioritize maintaining the same technical accuracy in localized content as in the source content to ensure patient safety and regulatory compliance. Achieving this level of accuracy involves a combination of careful processes, quality control measures, and the use of structured content management systems like DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture). Here are the key considerations:

Content Authoring and Review

The initial source content should be authored with precision and reviewed thoroughly by subject matter experts. This ensures that the technical accuracy of the content is established from the outset. Within a DITA environment, topics can be created and reviewed collaboratively by experts to verify their correctness. Any inaccuracies or ambiguities can be addressed during this phase, reducing the likelihood of errors propagating into localized versions.

Translation by Domain Experts

When translating pharmaceutical content, it is imperative to work with translators who specialize in the pharmaceutical and healthcare domain. These experts understand the complex terminology and regulatory requirements associated with pharmaceuticals. By involving domain experts, you can ensure that translations are not only linguistically accurate but also technically precise. They can make informed choices about terminology and maintain the same level of technical detail as the source content.

Quality Assurance and Validation

Pharmaceutical companies employ rigorous quality assurance processes to validate the accuracy of localized content. This includes comparing the localized content with the source content to identify any discrepancies. DITA allows for the creation of automated checks and validation scripts, which can be used to verify that the technical content remains consistent during localization. Any deviations can trigger alerts for further review and correction.


Here’s an example illustrating how DITA can be used to maintain technical accuracy in pharmaceutical content:

<topic id="drug_safety_guidelines">
  <title>Drug Safety Guidelines</title>
  <reviewed-by>Dr. Jane Smith</reviewed-by>
    <check type="content-accuracy" status="pass" />
    <check type="terminology-consistency" status="pass" />
    <check type="regulatory-compliance" status="pass" />

In this example, a DITA topic on drug safety guidelines includes version information, last review date, and validation checks for content accuracy, terminology consistency, and regulatory compliance. These checks ensure that the content retains the same technical accuracy throughout the localization process.