As Life Sciences Firms Target Emerging Markets, Language Translation Becomes More Critical


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The life sciences industry is undergoing massive change due to a
dramatic demographic shift in the age-profile of populations, a
changing landscape of disease, new technologies and health care cost
inflation.1 As a result, many life sciences firms are facing slow
organic growth in their traditional markets.

Coming out of the recession, leading companies are positioning
themselves to gain market share in the emerging markets. In fact, in a
Deloitte survey of nearly 200 pharmaceutical executives, over half of
the respondents said that emerging markets will contribute over a
quarter of their firm’s revenues within three years.2 Factors such
as growing economies, large populations, rising personal income levels
and progressive political policies in emerging global “clusters”
are encouraging growth and direct investment from industry leaders.
According to research done by Jones Lang LaSalle, “Clusters within
the U.S. and Europe remain destinations of choice for core aspects of
drug discovery. Emerging global clusters, however, offer
cost-advantageous manufacturing sites that provide both revenue and
margin opportunities.”3 (

Top Emerging Markets for Life Sciences Foreign Direct Investment

Asia is a major focus of FDI, with China, Singapore and India leading
the way. According to Jones Lang LaSalle, China received US$29.8
billion in drug and pharmaceutical FDI between 2007 and 2011, second
only to the United States. Over half of Deloitte’s survey
respondents voted China as the top country in terms of expected
importance for their companies in the coming three years, citing a
healthy growing economy, low costs and an expanding population as key
reasons. The popularity of smoking in China has also led to greater
interest, as epidemiologists predict two million new cases of cancer
caused by smoking each year in China by the year 2025.

Singapore is another major recipient of FDI in drugs and
pharmaceuticals, receiving some US$17.7 billion between 2007 and 2010.
India ranks third in terms of inward direct investment in Asia,
receiving US$12 billion during the same period. The scale and breadth
of investment in these countries over the last decade suggests that
companies are viewing them as both revenue and margin opportunities,
as well as for manufacturing and R&D activities.

In other regions, Canada is emerging as an important location for R&D
activity, whilst Brazil is becoming a manufacturing center. Central
Europe was selected in the Deloitte survey as the second most
attractive market due to low-cost manufacturing and a stable economy.

A Well-Developed Multi-lingual Communications Strategy is Critical to

To succeed in these markets, life sciences companies will need new
sales and marketing strategies, localised to each culture.
Deloitte’s survey respondents outlined a number of new plans to be
deployed between now and 2015 to achieve their goals, but perhaps the
most important is to focus sales and marketing activities on the
end-users, in effect “getting closer to the customer.”

Doing business in emerging markets will require additional translation
and localisation for product advertising, usage guidelines, product
development materials, etc. Translation will play a key role. The most
successful firms will be those who quickly and efficiently produce
high-quality localised and translated materials. One best practice is
to work with a language services provider who has proven experience in
the areas of globalisation, life sciences translation, pharmaceutical
translation, medical device and diagnostics translation, and
technology translations.

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1“The Future of the Life Sciences Industries: Strategies for Success
in 2015,” Deloitte Touche Tomatsu and the Economist Intelligence
Unit, 2006.
2Deloitte Touche Tomatsu and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
3“Life Sciences Cluster Report: Global.2011,” Jones Lange LaSalle
IP, Inc., 2011.

About Merrill Brink International
Merrill Brink International ( is a leading
provider of complete translation and language solutions for global
companies and law firms, with special expertise in serving the legal,
financial, life sciences, software, heavy machinery and corporate
markets. A proven leader with more than 30 years of experience,
Merrill Brink offers a wide range of language solutions including
translation, localisation, desktop publishing and globalisation

Merrill Brink is recognised in the industry for its commitment to
quality and its pioneering approach of leveraging technology to reduce
costs, eliminate redundant processes and accelerate translation life
cycles. Merrill Brink is certified to ISO 9001:2008; ISO 27001:2005
and ISO 13485:2003, and registered to EN 15038:2006 and ISO
14971:2007. Together, these standards provide assurance that the most
stringent process and quality standards for translation are followed.
Merrill Brink International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merrill

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