;   Medical Translation Insight: Greek crisis hits drug makers; translation providers next? - ForeignExchange Translations

Greek crisis hits drug makers; translation providers next?As the debt crisis in Greece turns deadly, it's becoming increasingly clear that this is no longer "just" a financial issue.

Beyond the human toll, the financial turmoil is starting to hit the pharma business and risks putting pressure on translation companies and other suppliers to pharmaceutical companies.

Already last week, drug makers started voicing concerns about the crisis. Those worries have now been confirmed: PharmaTimes reports that drug prices in Greece are plummeting, and this is likely to have a negative impact on pharma companies' business across Europe.

The cash-strapped Greek government is cutting the prices on 1,551 medicines by more than 20%. While this is bad news in and of itself, it's worse because of "contagion" fears.

Just like the financial crisis, low drug prices in Greece are likely to have a spill-over effect on prices in the rest of Europe. According to FiercePharma, EU countries set maximum drug prices based upon prices in other EU countries. Combined with the fact that EU trade rules allow drug wholesalers to buy pharmaceuticals in low-priced markets and resell them elsewhere will "cause a dangerous domino effect on prices of medicines in several European countries".

If this scenario does unfoldNow that this scenario has started to unfold, it is likely that pharma companies will make further cuts to their translation spend and budgets. Get ready for a lot of hand-wringing and pencil-sharpening among medical translation service providers!

[Via Pharmalot]

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  1. Helen Casas said...
    Certainly no translator or agency should depend on only one niche. My only specialty is pharmaceuticals and indeed I have seen a shift in the kind of work I receive over the past 5 years, but I know the field very well and am doing plenty of work in pharma "subniches" and other fields, certainly enough to keep me very, very busy at rates that have gone up rather than down. In my own experience, clients tend to go through a period where they start using cheaper providers but eventually realize it's a dead end street. Some need to get burned only once or twice, some as many as 20 or 30 times. But most eventually learn that poor quality is ten times as bad for business as high costs. So there might be a period where companies are skittish about paying a lot, but my own feeling is that there are not enough truly good people for the volume required at this time.

    [Via LinkedIn]
    cgtradmed said...
    I fully agree with Helen. Such a pessimistic view is not justified, particularly in this branch. Do you really think that they all will stop researching new molecules ? It is precisely their escape route from any crisis.
    Amelia said...
    Unfortunately, all crisis affect business, and deeply!!!

    If business slow down, so will our workload.

    We all hope that businessmen find a solution as soon as possible.

    We also deal with present issues in our blog:


    Best regards,

    Andres Heuberger said...
    Thank you for your comments!

    Our post wasn't intended to paint a doomsday picture. Rather, it's a heads-up to translation service providers.

    But as with all challenges, there is an opportunity here. Assuming that Novo Nordisk's decision to pull insulin from the Greek market is an isolated case, drug makers will look for partners to help them get smarter about translation. Service providers who can help with that, stand to benefit greatly!

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