Explaining How a Drug Works

Patients told us it was important to them to understand how a medicine works inside their bodies. We learned that narrative is a powerful way to explain the detailed science.

Our Challenge

We wanted to explain how we believe a particular drug works. Because the medicine works in a complex way that involves the details of the immune system, it was also necessary to explain how the drug works with the body's immune system. Our challenge was to figure out the right level of detail so that patients would have a high-level understanding of what was happening, without being overwhelmed by the complex details of immunology.

We heard from patients and listened to the questions they
were looking to answer.

Collaborating to Apply 
the UPL

To create a UPL explanation of how the drug works, we invited patients to a co-creation session. We started from the existing explanation we had been using, and patients told us what they found confusing or hard to understand. Then we worked with them to build new prototypes that focused in on the parts of the story they felt were most important. We left the session with three different prototypes, which we then shared with a new group of patients in validation. Validation helped us choose the best parts so we had a single explanation that made sense to patients.

Our Output

Our new visual for explaining how the drug works is easy to understand, and focuses on one key player in the immune system — the T cell. We also used visual metaphors to help reinforce key messages, and connected what was happening at the cellular level to what was happening in the body.