Pharmaceutical Translation Services

Pharmaceutical Document Translation Services
Vital for Private Companies Conducting
Research on Human Subjects
in Developing Countries

Medical Translation Services for Research on Human Subjects

We’ve blogged about the role of pharmaceutical document translation experts and in the context of legal protections against research on human subjects in developing nations.  Although significant regulations and laws, both in the international arena and within the United States, are in place to regulate and protect against research on human subjects, most is intended to apply to governments. Thus, when private companies like pharmaceutical corporations engage in human subject research, the practice falls within a rather gray area of international law.  No wonder it generates an ongoing need for accurate legal translation services by competent human translators.


The issue is further complicated as the subjects are often paid for their participation.  As a result, most claims brought in the United States fail for the simple reason that no law actually gives them protection. For example, in the 2001 case Abdullahi v. Pfizer, the Nigerian plaintiffs claimed Pfizer exposed them to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” and based their claim under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The ATS provides that “the district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States”. In the case at hand, the plaintiffs pointed to ICCPR Article 7, the Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki. However, the court dismissed the case under the principle of forum non conveniens, arguing that Nigeria would be a more appropriate forum.

With this ruling in mind, in bringing such a case one must be prepared to argue against the forum non conveniens principle by presenting evidence of why the foreign jurisdiction is not a more appropriate forum. To do this, bringing forth that nation’s available remedies – or lack thereof – is essential. For this, foreign language professional corporate translation services are a must.

See Wollensack, Amy F. 2007: “Closing the Constant Garden: The Regulation and Responsibility of U.S. Pharmaceutical Companies Doing Research on Human Subjects in Developing Nations”. Washington University Global Studies Law Review. Vol 6:747.

Contact our medical interpreting company to request medical translators and medical interpreters in your doctor’s office, hospital, medical
facility in Denver, Colorado, or elsewhere, in any foreign language.

Up Next: Translated Documents, Translation Experts and Legal Protections against Research on Human Subjects in Developing Nations