Achieving Cost-Efficiency and Accuracy in Clinical Trial Translation with DTS Language Services


In a 2016 Tufts study, the total cost of introducing a new drug to the market was estimated at around $2.6 billion, with out-of-pocket expenses per approved new compound reaching nearly $1.4 billion. Phase III clinical trials were found to have an average cost of approximately $255 million. However, a subsequent study conducted by Moore et al. and published in the British Medical Journal six years later presented lower figures. The median cost for a pivotal clinical trial (typically phase III) was reported at $48 million, with an interquartile range of $20 million to $102 million. This study determined the average patient cost in pivotal clinical trials to be $41,413. While estimates vary, there is no question that clinical trial costs are significant.

Delays contribute substantially to these costs. A staggering 85% of all clinical trials encounter delays, with 94% of these delays lasting more than a month. Such delays impose a considerable financial burden, with each additional day of prolongation resulting in financial losses ranging from $600,000 to $8 million, depending on the trial’s complexity and scale. To expedite the process of bringing life-saving drugs to market, clinical trials to find ways to reduce costs and prevent delays.

Given the global nature of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, collaboration among experts and participants from around the world is common. While this interconnectedness allows access to expertise that may expedite certain processes, it also presents challenges, particularly in terms of language barriers. Translation services are often employed to address these barriers. Despite the availability of reputable translation providers in the industry, that may initially appear quite cost-effective, they may lack the technical expertise, leading to delays and potentially costly mistakes.

The Specialized Needs of Clinical Trial Translation

Translation companies, even those with solid reputations, often lack the specialized knowledge required for handling clinical trials. While their linguistic proficiency is impressive, the unique demands of clinical trial documentation, including complex terminology, stringent regulatory frameworks, and an understanding of the distinct challenges specific to clinical trials, necessitate expertise beyond general translation capabilities.

One of the hidden costs lies in the iterative nature of the translation process concerning critical documents such as contracts, consent forms, and protocol details. These documents frequently undergo multiple rounds of revisions and clarifications. If the translator commits repeated errors, the process may extend beyond what is considered reasonable. These delays can have a ripple effect, disrupting the schedules of local healthcare professionals, researchers, and study participants. These delays can disrupt the schedules of local healthcare professionals, researchers, and study participants, potentially impacting the smooth progress of the trial and risking the achievement of critical milestones.

DTS Language Services: A Specialized Approach to Clinical Trial Translation

DTS Language Services distinguishes itself as a boutique language service provider focusing on clinical trials. While larger companies exist, DTS stands out as an ISO-certified language services provider with over 50 years of experience. Our ISO 17100 certification underscores our commitment to global standards of quality, consistency, and excellence. We are renowned for delivering industry-leading certified translations, guaranteed turnaround times, and responsive project management tailored specifically to clinical trials.

Our specialized focus on clinical trials underscores our understanding of the importance of accuracy, precision, and regulatory compliance in every clinical trial translation. With our in-depth knowledge of clinical trial terminology and stringent quality assurance procedures, we ensure that our clients receive translations of the utmost quality, meeting the exacting standards of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

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