SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing, and certification company. Counterfeit medications have become a global threat to patient well-being and to the reputations of responsible drug manufacturers whose brands can become compromised by products that are falsely labeled, spurious, or outright fakes. SGS’ Life Science Services division provides analytical, bioanalytical, and clinical trial testing capabilities, along with process management, to drug manufacturers and healthcare companies to help ensure minimal cost and maximum safety. Given the variety and availability of counterfeit drugs, SGS’ commitment is vitally important to the well-being of countless patients and the healthcare industry as a whole. Clarity’s challenge was to help SGS uphold its commitment in an article regarding counterfeit drugs. The potential worldwide audience included scientists, physicians, and lay readers. The article needed to meet SGS’ standards for integrity and scientific value and be accessible to a general readership. The writing project included interviewing the subject matter expert, performing additional research, and editing the paper, all in less than three days.


Clarity Consultants tapped into its network of more than 10,000 consultants and selected an individual with experience writing for scientific and medical readers who had a Ph.D. in immunology. The consultant could combine the viewpoints of scientists and lay readers to help SGS communicate its message to all the intended audiences. The source text was provided by a writer for whom English was a second language. It needed to be edited for clarity and flow, and some additional research was required. The article would be published in an SGS newsletter with global circulation. The primary audience was pharmaceutical and biotechnology scientists performing manufacturing process controls, quality control, and drug development, but the newsletter might also be read by existing and potential clients. It was vetted by subject matter experts and SGS’ marketing reviewers for accuracy and brand fidelity. The article described the costs and dangers associated with counterfeit drugs and provided a concise review of the laws and standards upheld by global public and corporate entities such as the World Health Organization and private companies. The consultant’s scientific training was essential to the assignment’s successful and timely completion. Discussions with the original author went smoothly; new information was sourced reliably with appropriate citations to strengthen the end product.


The SGS newsletter article on counterfeit medications drew on expert resources and reviewers in the United States, Switzerland, and India, requiring the Clarity consultant to collaborate globally and demonstrate sensitivity to multiple cultures and idioms, against a firm deadline. The final product was a concise, readable summary of the issue that met SGS’s rigorous standards and helped inform a general but discerning readership.

Clarity enabled the company to:

  • Publish a compelling article regarding the dangers of counterfeit drugs.
  • Meet the newsletter’s tight deadline.
  • Produce a scientifically sound article that could also be read by a layperson.

Consultant Quote:

“When I get material from a scientist I’m very careful never to compromise scientific information and to maintain the meaning as I make it more understandable. It’s common in writing like this by less experienced writers to advocate or editorialize inadvertently, which is impermissible in science writing.”

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