We’re here this week with Dr. Nimita Limaye to discuss challenges and opportunities around medical communications in India. Dr. Limaye a distinguished leader in the international medical writing community and a recent addition to CSOFT Health Sciences’ growing team in Boston, Massachusetts, in the role of Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Medical Writing. She has over 20 years of life sciences experience working across the CRO, pharmaceutical, and consulting industries, having held executive leadership positions including at Altana Pharma, SIRO Clinpharm, Quintiles (now IQVIA), Tata Consultancy Services, and Applied Technology Solutions.
Dr. Hope: Congratulations on your recent selection for Regional Chair for DIA India Writing Community! As the regional chair, what are some of the main responsibilities in your new role?
Dr. Nimita: Thank you! My gratitude to the DIA global community leadership for having the confidence in me to do so! My key responsibilities are to help establish an active and vibrant DIA medical writing community in India. You know, we have an excellent team of medical writers in India with a lot of experience and expertise out there. So, I do hope to see this community growing again! I would also love to see this community learn, share, and integrate with the global DIA medical writing community as well.
Dr. Hope: Bringing the Indian medical writing community to the forefront with so many talented folks is an exciting prospect! Having worked with medical writers in India so extensively, how does your rich cross-cultural experience play into the medical writing work that you do?
Dr. Nimita: Well, I authored my first clinical study report in Germany, where I received my initial training on medical writing. Then I grew and established successful medical writing partnerships in India, working with customers across the US, Europe, and Asia. While medical writing in some ways is pretty much standardized, there are I guess certain finer differences in presentation styles and messaging. Perhaps one important thing is that when people write, they are usually writing based on the language in which they think. So, it helps you understand better what they are trying to communicate if you have a deeper understanding of the language and the culture.
Dr. Hope: Understanding the language and the culture may be more straightforward in some countries, but in India, there are many languages. By some counts, hundreds and by other counts, thousands, depending on whether you include dialects. For medical communications work, though, how many languages are regularly utilized, and what are the top languages of medical communications in India?
Dr. Nimita: Good question! There are more than 19,500 languages or dialects spoken in India! However, 22 languages are included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution and the two official languages are Hindi and English. Almost all medical writing work is done in English, as it is the business language. With a population of 1.38 billion, and being the largest democracy in the world, the richness and the diversity are not surprising!
Dr. Hope:The cultural linguistic context of India provides a colorful palette from which to paint opportunities in various realms of translation and communication. What is the greatest cross-cultural challenge for medical communications in India?
Dr. Nimita: Honestly, this isn’t a huge challenge since the business language is English. Hence, most medical writers are proficient in English. The only problem, at times, can be that Informed Consent Forms need to be translated into so many different languages in India, though that’s more of a translation issue, rather than a writing challenge!
Dr. Hope: Translating Informed Consent Forms into the ten to twenty languages must be a challenging task. What is the greatest advantage of working with medical communications in India?
Dr. Nimita: I think the greatest advantage of working with medical communications in India is the huge talent pool of skilled clinical research professionals and the fact that most of them are fluent in English, which is the business language of the country. Many leading pharmaceutical companies have a presence in India and India generates over 24,000 doctoral graduates annually and it has over 1.2 million allopathic doctors as well. All of these add up and help create a highly talented resource pool.
Dr. Hope: We are excited at the prospect of your leadership as the DIA India Medical Writing Chair, in helping quicken this transition in the medical writing community, tapping into the global talent available in South Asia.
We thank Dr. Nimita for joining us. It was a pleasure having her here, and it was quite the honor to be able to interview her about medical writing in India, which is something so central to her career. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors, and hope to have the opportunity to speak with her again in the future!
- Dr. Hope
About CSOFT Health Sciences
CSOFT Health Sciences provides end-to-end medical translations for all phases of the product lifecycle, from pre-clinical to post-launch. We also specialize in market access consulting, medical writing, and CTD/eCTD submissions with the FDA, EMA, and NMPA. Our operations are compliant with ISO 17100 and certified in ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016, ensuring our customized solutions meet the rigorous regulatory requirements of global submissions.
CSOFT International is a leading provider of cross-border communications for enterprises seeking growth in global markets. Our expertise in localization, documentation, and branding encompasses a full range of end-to-end content and consulting services that we deliver in over 250 languages. With a focus in health sciences and smart technology, we work closely with our clients to deliver precision solutions to the challenges of engaging markets, consumers, and regulatory environments worldwide.
Dr. Hope is not a doctor but a creative voice at CSOFT Health Sciences, who seeks to provide insightful, factual, and relevant explanations of phenomena in the medical industry. Sometimes historical, other times philosophical, and generally related to the scientific interest and well-being of society, Dr. Hope provides commentary, inspiration and hope to readers thinking about health in the big-picture. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.