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PILLS: Patient Information Language Localisation System Evaluation Workshop Berlitz GlobalNET - Luton 30 Nov 2001 PILLS is a preparatory action European eContent project, ECD-3310-26904. The PILLS Consortium Technical team:

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PILLS: Patient Information Language Localisation SystemEvaluation WorkshopBerlitz GlobalNET - Luton 30 Nov 2001PILLS is a preparatory action European eContent project, ECD-3310-26904.

the pills consortium
The PILLS Consortium

Technical team:

  • Information Technology Research Institute (ITRI), University of Brighton UK
    • Dr. Donia Scott, Professor of Computational Linguistics, Director of ITRI
    • Dr. Richard Power, Reader in Computational Linguistics
  • Medical Informatics Institute, University of Freiburg, Germany
    • Dr. Stefan Schulz, MD, PhD in Public Health

Market research team:

  • Berlitz GlobalNET Ireland
    • Rose Lockwood, Director of Research
  • Berlitz GlobalNET UK
    • Dawn Murphy - Consultant
objectives for the day
Objectives for the day
  • What we want to do
    • Explain the rationale for the project
    • Explain how the PILLS system works
    • Show you the system working, and let you use it
    • Get your advice and feedback on whether and how we undertake further development of the system
  • What we want you to do
    • Advise us on whether we have correctly understood the publishing requirements and challenges in the pharma industry
    • Give feedback on regulation and localisation issues
    • Experience PILLS for yourself
    • Give feedback (and evaluation) on functionality, applicability of PILLS
    • Collectively explore ideas for further development
  • The pharmaceutical business environment
  • Challenges for pharmaceutical publishing
  • Regulation, harmonisation and localisation
  • The PILLS solution
  • Demonstration and test drive
  • Evaluation
pharma industry trends and challenges
Pharma industry trends and challenges
  • Consolidation
    • quest for market share in highly competitive market
    • product line integration, premium on comprehensive solutions, efficiencies in distribution and service
  • Globalisation
    • driven by changing policies (free trade), regulatory shifts (harmonisation)
    • leveraging sales & marketing for larger customers, exploiting global opportunities
  • Impact of technology
    • shorter product cycles, faster time-to-market
    • Internet effect: new purchaser buying-power, shifts in the value chain (new intermediaries), new market segmentations
consolidation highly competitive market e g for psychiatric drugs


  • Shire
  • GlaxoSK
  • Social Phobia
  • GlaxoSK
  • Pfizer
  • Mania
  • Abbott
  • Roxane
  • GlaxoSK
  • Solvay
  • Anxiety
  • Abbott
  • BMS
  • ICN
  • Pfizer
  • P&U
  • Roche
  • Sanofi
  • OCD
  • Lilly
  • Novartis
  • Pfizer
  • GlaxoSK
  • Solvay
  • ADHD
  • Abbott
  • Novartis
  • Shire
  • GlaxoSK
  • Obesity
  • Carnrick
  • Gate/Teva
  • Knoll
  • Medeva
  • Roche
  • GlaxoSK
  • Bulimia
  • Lilly
  • Panic
  • Pfizer
  • P&U
  • Roche
  • GlaxoSK
  • Smoking
  • GlaxoSK
CONSOLIDATION - highly competitive market, e.g. for psychiatric drugs...
  • Depression
  • BMS
  • Forest
  • GlaxoSK
  • Hoescht
  • ICN
  • Lederle
  • Lilly
  • Merck
  • Novartis
  • Organon
  • Pfizer
  • Schering
  • Solvay
  • Zeneca
  • Psychosis
  • Boehringer
  • Endo
  • Janssen
  • Lilly
  • Novartis
  • Ortho
  • Pfizer
  • Schering
  • GlaxoSK
  • Watson
  • Zeneca
  • Alcoholism
  • Boehringer
  • Dupont
  • Wyeth-Ayerst

Source: SAS

globalisation distribution of global pharmaceutical sales in 2000 us 318 billion
GLOBALISATION - distribution of global pharmaceutical sales in 2000 (US$ 318 billion)

52% of the industry is non-US

Source: IMS Health

changes driven by the internet
Changes driven by the Internet
  • Supply-chain relationships
    • Use of intranets for electronic exchange of research, compliance and product info
    • Integration with manufacturer, packaging supplier, sub-tier supplier systems
  • Customer relationships
    • Direct, transparent markets
    • Pressure on cost and turnaround
    • High visibility
  • Relationships with doctors, pharmacists, patients
    • Direct-to-consumer trends
    • “e-Detailing”
new channels to regional and global markets
New channels to regional and global markets
  • Fast growth in hospital e-procurement take-up in the US
    • currently $6.3 billion market
    • grew by over $1.6 billion in 2000
  • Integration of European procurement market
    • e.g. NHS Supplies (UK) linking with other European providers to benchmark prices across Europe
    • likely to catch up with the US as Web infrastructure solidifies
  • Localisation becomes competitively significant in cross-border markets
  • Flexible publishing solutions needed
impact of these trends on pharma publishing
Impact of these trends on pharma publishing
  • Technical publishing issues
    • information design, Web architecture, multiple publishing formats
  • Information ecology - leveraging content for multiple publishing requirements, e.g.
    • marketing, labeling, instructions for use, operator manuals
    • brochures, leaflets, manuals, support documentation (Print, CD, Web)
  • Language and culture
    • translation, adaptation to local conditions, symbology
  • Legal & regulatory
    • local and regional conformance
  • Industry-specific trends
    • good practice, standards
new levels of market exposure through web publishing
New levels of market exposure through Web publishing
  • Globally available product showcases
    • In regional and global markets
    • With diverse cultural and social norms, business cultures
    • Increasing communication across language barriers
  • Increasingly localised, with
    • Content highly adapted to local conditions
    • Combining local content with global product information
  • With a mix of document and format types, stylistic forms and registers, variations in presentation of the same or similar content.
info on prozac from the eli lilly site http www prozac com prescribing info jsp




Info on Prozac, from the Eli Lilly site,
and on webmd http my webmd com content article
…and on WebMD,

“PIL-type” info provided by Lilly

and from the vhn compendium site http emc vhn net public


…and from the VHN compendium site,
and the spc for fluoxetine prozac generic on the european product index site
…and the SPC for Fluoxetine (Prozac “generic”) on the European Product Index site

SPC in English linked on the Swedish regulator’s site

License holder:

A/S GEA Farmaceutisk Fabrik

(licensed in SE, DK, FI, NE, UK)

monograph type info on the mosby drug information site http www genrx com genrxfree
“Monograph-type” info on the Mosby drug information site,
patient insert info on trazodone on thomson micromedex site http www micromedex com products
Patient Insert info on Trazodone on Thomson Micromedex site,

(Prozac/Fluoxetine not available in the “free sample docs” on this site!)

info on fluctin lilly brand name in germany from the netdoktor site http www netdoktor de
Info on Fluctin (Lilly brand name in Germany) from the Netdoktor site,

This site is published in Danish,




(2 versions for AT & DE) and English


info in




in Dutch

Merck’s Fluoxetine on the Netherlands Medicine Evaluation Board site,
information flow pharmaceutical data










Information flow - pharmaceutical data

Web Delivery / Multi-Language

The goal:

common data sources for multiple documents in multiple languages



Product “Label” (Official

Packet) Inserts (US)






A question:

can this be done across and between pharma companies?







the context for regulatory change
The context for regulatory change
  • ICH
  • Changing European regulatory regime:
    • EMEA, EDQM
    • Mutual Recognition Procedure
    • Pharmacopoeia
  • ...with similar content also published in less regulated environments such as Web portals
  • Dramatic impact on use and re-use of pharma product info...
organisation of the edqm european directorate for the quality of medicines
Organisation of the EDQMEuropean Directorate for the Quality of Medicines

Prepares EP monographs for drugs with marketing approvals

The European Pharmacopoeia was inaugurated in 1964 through a convention under the Council of Europe

pharma localisation challenges
Pharma localisation challenges
  • 13 EU languages – legal requirement for central authorisations
  • New countries joining EU (8 new languages anticipated in the near term)
  • 20 days to produce translations
  • 1000s of documents
  • Updates may be several times a year
  • Version control challenge
how pills works

WYSIWYM Authoring

Natural Language Generation

Output format







Enter information





Master document


Feedback text









Create/Update Master Document


Generate Output Documents

How PILLS works
pills concepts
PILLS concepts
  • Domain model
    • Pharmaceutical/medical concepts, eg ingredients
    • NOT just a dictionary
  • WYSIWYM – Symbolic authoring
    • Author selects concepts from domain model
    • Menu-driven editor
    • Author “writes” MASTER DOCUMENT
    • Author = product specialist
  • Natural Language Generation
    • Automatically creates text from concepts using linguistic rules
    • Different style, terminology etc depending on doc type
    • Generates document in any language for which linguistic rules are available
how does pills compare with other technologies

Translation bureau 1

Translation bureau 2

Local opco

How does PILLS compare with other technologies?
  • Word processing
    • Templates/old documents/previous versions
    • New doc for each doc type
    • Translation bottleneck
how does pills compare with other technologies38
How does PILLS compare with other technologies?
  • Document management (XML)
    • Re-use at component level
    • Less linguistic flexibility
    • Translation reduced but still required for new text

<side-effect>If you experience any of the following, stop taking the medicine immediately and tell your doctor: unexplained wheezing, shortness of breath, skin rash, itching, bruising or facial swelling.</side-effect>

<dose>The usual dose for adults and children over 12 is one to three tablets every 12 hours.</dose>

How to take your medicine

The usual dose for adults and children over 12 is one to three tablets every 12 hours.

Will I have any problems?

If you experience any of the following, stop taking the medicine immediately …

how does pills compare with other technologies39
How does PILLS compare with other technologies?
  • Machine translation
    • Write source doc
    • Quality issues – MT first has to understand the source language

MT System

Source documents

Natural language understanding

Natural language generation


why take the pills approach
Why take the PILLS approach?
  • Save time by creating multiple documents from one master document
  • Save time by avoiding translation step
  • Automatically conform to regulatory requirements re content
  • Manage change by editing master document only
discussion and evaluation
Discussion and evaluation
  • General impression and relevance of the PILLS system
    • initial impression, relevance
  • The PILLS authoring process
    • acceptable? usable? the “master document” concept? the authoring interface/method?
  • Benefits and/or drawbacks of the PILLS approach
    • benefits? problems? compatibility issues?
  • Possible improvements to PILLS
    • changes? requirements/conformance? types of documents?
  • Exploitation of PILLS
    • would/could you participate? other applications?