pharmaceutical translations case study

29 year partnership helps F500 pharmaceutical company stay ahead of the competition

Client Profile

Large multinational medical device and pharmaceutical leader that specializes in nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices, and branded generic pharmaceuticals.

Industry: Hospital & Health Care

Company size: 10,001+ employees

Headquarters: Illinois

Type: Public Company, Fortune 500

Specialties: Nutrition, Diagnostics, Medical Devices, and Branded Generic Pharmaceuticals


In 1990, a large F500 pharmaceutical company found themselves receiving an increasing number of medical diagnostic tickets from their products sold around the world.  In smaller amounts, the foreign language tickets were handled ad hoc internally using immediate staff until the volume increased to such an amount that it was taking up too much time each day to translate.  In an industry where quality, precision and timeliness are vital in meeting the regulatory requirements in multiple countries, the company found themselves working against the clock to accurately translate 15 – 20 different files from over a dozen languages into English every day. Even when tickets were submitted in English the summarized information was incomplete, resulting in filing delays of accidentally submitting reportable events.

With concerns that regulators would significantly penalize the company if they were unable to meet their requirements, our client knew they needed expert language translation assistance.


Throughout the day, 15-20 files of various file types arrive for processing.  The files are first organized and categorized by source language before allocated for translation within the next 12 – 36 hours.  

Number of source files: 15 – 20

File type: PDF, JPEG, DOC, XLS

Source language: Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Polish, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Swedish, Czech

Target language: English

Audience: Clinicians and Scientists

Terminology: Medical technology unique to the client’s product

Velocity: Daily

Deadline: within 36 hours


Translation Accuracy, Cost and Speed Tips the Scale in Favor of BURG

To compare translation vendors, a random selection of tickets were provided to BURG Translations and other competing vendors. Key evaluation criteria consisted of translation accuracy, turnaround time, and the vendor’s ability to meet budgetary constraints.

With regular delays and occasional faulty translations, it was immediately obvious that the competing vendors could not meet the client’s stringent requirements. Translation and delivery issues of this magnitude can have cascading effects such as filing delays, wrongful medical event submissions, fines, and eroding confidence and relationships with regulatory bodies.

Although BURG Translations delivered highly accurate translations and met every deadline, they were not the client’s current or approved vendor, posing an immediate problem for management to further engage with BURG. It took months, but once resolved, BURG earned exclusive preferred vendor status for the on-going project. During the wait, BURG Translations consulted with the client to streamline the current translation process, design an ideal future state, and develop predictable budgeting guidelines.  

“BURG was approached because of the need for an efficient, prompt, and reliable translation and related service.  They delivered and went beyond every expectation we had. They made the process seamless, efficient, and are invaluable when a deliverable is needed urgently.  They are a pleasure to work with, are always accommodating, and will take the time to address any issue or concern we may have. By doing what they do best, they help streamline our own operations.” − Medical Safety Monitor, WW Safety and Surveillance


Improved Workflow Eases Regulatory and Compliance Issues

Fundamental to the success that the client has had with BURG is in their ability to not only ensure high translation accuracy rates for all the variety of file formats, ticket types and a growing list of technical terms, but to deliver 100% of all tickets within 36 hours.

“[Redacted] have been in partnership with BURG since 1990 to meet our translation needs the highly scrutinized world of global complaint handling. BURG has consistently demonstrated their ability to provide the highest quality translations across a multitude of languages, within the aggressive timelines that our process requires.  BURG’s translation accuracy is unmatched among other vendors we’ve evaluated. The compliance of our entire process relies on the accuracy of our translations, and we trust our partners at BURG to meet our high standards.– Medical Event Group Manager, Diagnostics Global Quality Systems

With ticket translation and processes greatly improved, this large multinational pharmaceutical company is now able to mitigate risk with low margins of error in their heavily regulated industry.

This story starts in 1990 and the relationship continues. Today, BURG Translations handles over 50 tickets per day from over two-dozen countries worldwide and continues to maintain an impeccably high level of translation accuracy and next-day on-time delivery. The team has since grown and the client continues to be grateful for the reliable performance that BURG Translations offers, including referring more colleagues and championing BURG from within the company.

“We have been extremely satisfied with your service and your company’s  product. You have been amazing to work with and the quality of the translations, plus your turn around times have helped us to meet a number of critical data locks over the past 8 years…” – Associate Director, WW Safety and Surveillance

“I have not had this type of “personal” experience before with other translations companies with whom I worked in the past. I would highly recommend BURG for the accuracy and efficiency and will definitely use them again when I next have translation requirements.” – Product Manager, Latin America and Canada International Marketing

“BURG provides quality, consistent, and superior service. The staff is attentive and understands [Redacted] needs, delivers projects on-time and are enjoyable to work with. BUR is the best translation service I’ve used.” – Coryn Commare, Associate Director, Regulatory Policy & Intelligence (RPI)

“I’ve worked with several translation services across the globe and BURG has consistently provided the best service. Your team always responds with quotes quickly, completes translation in a timely manner and delivers quality documents.  The swift and reliable service BURG provides is much appreciated!” – Sr. Regulatory Affairs Specialist

“BURG represents quality of work, timeliness of delivery, excellence of service.  Furthermore, the scope of our work is covered by BURG’s capacity to provide translation into all the various languages we need, whether by creating new artwork or by updating existing artwork. Of prime importance to me is the value of the customer service we receive…I know that we are always able to count on BURG for our needs, most notably during our nail-biting Semi-annual Global Software Releases, vital to our team and to the business of… ”
– Global Strategic Marketing

“In … Latin America and Canada (LAC) have utilized and experienced BURG Translations (via a Third Party ) for many years…Our translations needs and demands are varied and very HIGH…with BURG, we never worried they would get this right.  Not only was the quality of this work impressive, but the speed at which they completed their projects was (still is) second to no one. We have worked with two other approved (MSA) vendors for translations in 2015. Similarly priced to BURG, neither vendor has matched the Quality and Turn Around Time of BURG Translations…” – Senior Director, LAC Commercial Operations

If you’d like to learn more about how BURG Translations helps you ensure high-quality pharmaceutical, life sciences, or medical device translations, contact us

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