Pharmaceutical companies have a critical role in promoting health and well-being around the world.
To serve patients effectively, it is essential that the industry prioritises language inclusivity.
This means ensuring that all patients, regardless of their language or cultural background, have access to and can understand the resources and services they need.
A recent report by RWS, Unlocked 2023: In Understanding We Trust, reveals that nearly half of global consumers are frustrated by the dominance of the English language on the internet and technology.
The report highlights the importance of understanding and appreciating national identity, culture, and languages.
Consumers feel that brands must show their understanding and appreciation of these factors.
In reality, only a few feel that brands understand their cultural needs and priorities.
As the pharmaceutical industry increasingly focuses on patient-centric care, it is critical that companies prioritise language inclusivity.
By ensuring that all patients can understand the information and resources they need, companies can break down barriers and ensure that all patients feel welcome and seen.
One of the most effective ways to improve language inclusivity in pharma is through the use of technology.
Digital platforms and tools can be used to provide information in a variety of languages, making it easier for patients to access the information they need in their preferred language.
This includes everything from patient portals and mobile apps to telemedicine platforms.
Chatbots can be programmed to provide information in a variety of languages, making it easier for patients who may not speak the dominant language of the country in which they reside.
Telemedicine services in multiple languages can ensure that people from all linguistic backgrounds can access medical care and advice remotely, particularly in rural or remote areas where healthcare services may be limited or non-existent.
Translation software can be used to automatically translate documents and other resources into a variety of languages, making it easier for patients to access the information they need.
It is important to note, however, that technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
While digital platforms and tools can be effective, they must be used in conjunction with other strategies to ensure that all patients have access to the resources they need.
This includes providing in-person language support, such as interpreters or bilingual staff, as well as cultural competence training for healthcare providers.
In addition to improving language inclusivity, it is also critical for the pharmaceutical industry to appreciate and respect local cultures.
According to the RWS report, 71 per cent of people identify and take great pride in their nation’s history, culture and language.
Interestingly, this sentiment rises to over 90 per cent for consumers from countries like India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana.
The report also reveals that nine in ten consumers feel strongly that brands must show their understanding and appreciation of national identity, culture, and languages.
However, only a small percentage feel that brands understand their cultural needs and priorities.
In a sector like pharma, where patients come from diverse backgrounds, it is crucial to bring language inclusivity to the top of the agenda.
This can be achieved by using technology to improve accessibility, breaking down barriers, and ensuring that all feel welcome and seen.
To effectively serve patients, pharmaceutical companies must understand and appreciate these cultural nuances.
This includes everything from understanding local beliefs and customs to ensuring that patient education and marketing materials are culturally appropriate.
Companies must also prioritise diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices to ensure that they have a workforce that is representative of the communities they serve.
Ultimately, prioritising language inclusivity and cultural appreciation in the pharmaceutical industry is critical for ensuring that all patients have access to and can understand the resources and services they need.
By using technology to improve language access, providing in-person language support, and appreciating local cultures, companies can break down barriers and create a more inclusive healthcare system.
This approach not only benefits patients but also helps to build trust – at a time when the need for trust has never be more important.