5 Consequences of Mistranslated Prescriptions

Mistranslated prescriptions are increasingly becoming a big issue in the health and pharmaceutical industry. Users with poor or non-English skills can get into serious health issues from misinterpreting prescriptions. Thus, every pharmaceutical company must adopt the right pharmaceutical translation team.

However, when companies cut corners and use the wrong professional translation company, there are consequences for such oversight. In this educative piece, we will take you through the consequences of mistranslated prescription and why you should always work with a translation agency with the right experience for prescription translations.

Effects on the Patients

Mistranslated prescription leads to medication errors. The consequences can range from little or no effect on the patient to ultimately death. The wrong medication can aggravate the patient’s health condition, cause a temporary or permanent impairment, or lead to the development of a new medical condition.

A patient looking to get better may deteriorate from the use of the wrong medication caused by mistranslated prescriptions. Thus, it is important pharmaceutical companies work with medical translation services providers that understand the gravity of any oversight to prevent such occurrences.

Effects on Healthcare Professionals

The death or aggravation of a patient’s medical condition also has adverse effects on the healthcare professionals working on the patient. The effects range from self-doubt, shame, and guilt, and this could further deteriorate to further psychological issues.

Sadly, these errors may not be noticed until the situation becomes critical. It would take a lot of time and effort to trace the mistranslated prescription. Hence, pharmaceutical companies must adopt professional translation companies for every medical translation project. These errors are avoidable, and with the right practice, there will be no need for misinterpreted translations and other translation errors.

Lawsuits against Health Professionals

The family and loved ones of a patient suffering from misinterpreted prescriptions may press charges and pursue lawsuits against the health professionals involved.

This may lead to impediments on the professional careers of the health professionals involved, license withdrawal, and even jail time. All these would take its emotional toll on the individuals involved. This adverse situation is avoidable by working with professional medical translation service providers.

Lawsuits against the Hospital and the Pharmaceutical Company

Patients who suffer from deteriorating health conditions caused by misinterpreted translation can also sue the healthcare institution responsible for such negligence. The healthcare institution will investigate the root cause of the negligence and further file lawsuits against the pharmaceutical company responsible for the misinterpreted translations.

These processes take time, money, and would slow down business for all the parties involved, from the risks of closing down the company and healthcare institutions to out-of-court settlements, increased cost of patient treatment, and so many other processes.

A lot of time and effort would go into identifying the errors, dealing with policies, and setting up resolution parties. These errors would affect the pharmaceutical’s company reputation in the industry. You can avoid all these troubles by using a reliable translation company for your medical translation projects.


The consequences of misinterpreted translations are overwhelming. Thus, pharmaceutical companies should only work with professional medical translation services providers for prescription label translations. Using machine translations for prescriptions could result in incorrect labels that would cause hazard to the user’s health.

The accuracy and clarity of prescriptions affect not only the reputation of the company but also the health of the end-user.

Thus, it would help if you work with a global language solution provider like the EC Innovations. EC Innovations is a leading language service provider with over 23 years of experience in the industry. EC Innovations has a high-quality standard and only offers consistently accurate localization services to various clients.

To date, ECI has achieved ISO 13485:2016, ISO 9001:2015, and ISO 1710:2015 certifications. We have 8 strategic offices around the world and operating divisions in Asia, Europe, and North America, offering full localization support into 130+ languages and 260 locales.

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