Heute ein Gastbeitrag von Diana Kahle (seit Februar 2009 bei uns im Team):
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Pharma hat ein Geschmäckle
Today, we had a customer ask us if they can use the term “pharma experts” to describe their customer, a major player in the pharmaceutical industry. Our answer: sure, you can. But it’s probably not a very good idea.
Kürzen ist nicht immer würzen
Yes, “pharma” is a valid abbreviation of “pharmaceuticals” or even “pharmacology”, but this abbreviation is usually only used when talking about the industry as a whole. The term is almost never used to describe people (as in “pharma experts”). And, perhaps more importantly, the word conjures up somewhat negative associations (think Big Pharma). This isn’t immediately evident if you run a simple google search on “pharma industry”, as it brings up over 400,000 hits, most of which don’t seem to be critical of the industry at all. However, out of the first 10 hits, three are from German companies, one is from an outfit called Pharma Focus Asia, and another links to a page titled Indian Pharma Industry – so the odds are, none of these were written by native speakers.
Na, was sagen denn die Amis?
If you search the online version of the New York Times, however, you get a completely different picture. Some search-result gems:
“the scandalous involvement of the pharma industry's statin cheerleaders sitting on government regulatory boards”
“backroom deals with the pharma industry”
“It seems like yet another reckless pill the pharma industry pushes our way”
Fazit - Pharma ist nicht gleich pharma
The verdict: Yes, “pharma” is a valid abbreviation. But don’t use it for people, or for companies you like (or work for).