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The Drug Pricing Lab

Increasing Health Equity by Improving Pharmaceutical Pricing

The Drug Pricing Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is a national leader in advancing rational approaches to drug pricing and health insurance—sustaining innovation while increasing health equity by ensuring access and affordability. The Lab asked Constructive to help strengthen their brand and create a website that bridges the esoteric, wonky world of pharmaceutical pricing. Central to success was educating a diversity of audiences on the issues to increase understanding, help shape policy, and make healthcare more affordable and equitable. Together, we redefined The Drug Pricing Lab’s brand and created a focused, feature-rich website that’s helping them influence policy and generate concrete action.

Brand & Digital Strategy

Aligning Brand Strategy and Digital Strategy to Create a Mission-Aligned Brand Experience

We started with stakeholder engagement to gain the perspective of The Lab’s leadership; then conducted sector research to better understand the key issues and peer organizations working on them. With a solid understanding of the ecosystem in which The Drug Pricing Lab exists, we led a collaborative, integrated strategy process that defined the core pillars of the brand and a user experience that clearly communicates their mission, advances their work, and engages audiences in the effort. Our digital strategy combined human-centered content strategy and “Jobs to be Done” theory to create a website that meets the specific needs of industry experts, policymakers, the media, and more. We then articulated the vision for the future with a 4 Foundations Framework detailing the brand, content, design, and technology priorities for The Drug Pricing Lab’s new branding and website.

Branding

A Brand That Makes Complex Healthcare Issues More Accessible and Understandable

A top priority for The Drug Pricing Lab was making their research and recommendations more accessible to a wider audience. Designing the digital experiences that would make that possible started by creating a new logo and identity design system that invited audiences in while still emphasizing the rational, common-sense approach to their work. And while The Drug Pricing Lab is an independent nonprofit, it was important that there still be some connection to the Memorial Sloan Kettering brand to which it belonged. Leaning on Memorial Sloan Kettering’s trademark blue as our foundation, we created an iconic logo and design system of illustrations that are bright, inviting, and streamlined. The result presents the Drug Pricing Lab as a different and innovative brand in their space, makes their wonky work more accessible, and supports the objective, informative research that’s central to their mission.

Content Strategy & UX Design

A User Experience That Educates, Centers on Research-Driven Content, and Empowers Audiences

The Drug Pricing Lab’s website has three primary areas of focus. First is explaining the complex issues that drive how pharmaceutical drugs are priced. Second is making the Lab’s wealth of research and case studies available to people interested in the work that The Lab is doing to address those issues. And third is empowering people with sophisticated interactive tools and data visualizations that can help them in their own work. We collaborated with The Lab’s team to create an integrated content strategy and information architecture that provides clear pathways to engage with content, organizes everything so that it’s easy to find, and creates content relationships that encourage deeper exploration. Special emphasis was placed on ensuring that content was accessible to a wider audience by applying best practices in content-heavy web design. And on the interactive tools front, we led dedicated prototyping workshops to translate complex ideas and data into accessible information.

Website Design & Development

A Design That Balances Rational Rigor and Emotional Appeal to Deepen Engagement With Healthcare Pricing and Policy

Like many research institutes and policy-oriented nonprofits, The Lab’s communications are extremely content-rich and must reinforce expertise and credibility. There’s an academic quality to their work and honoring that is essential in the designed experiences they create for audiences online. At the same time, for the Drug Pricing Lab to achieve the impact they seek, they must engage key audiences such as policymakers who are not as interested in research intricacies. The Lab’s new website extends the pillars of their brand to be both scientifically grounded and people-centered, creating a bright brand experience that focuses on content clarity—delivering key takeaways alongside legible, long-form text, with inviting illustrations that make complex concepts accessible.

Website Design & Development

Educating Audiences on the Issues and Making the Case for Change With Data-Backed Research

The policy and market pricing issues that surround how healthcare and drugs are priced in America are as confusing as they are complex. They’re also incredibly difficult to wrestle with when it comes to changing the system to increase health equity and make healthcare more accessible and affordable for patients. The Drug Pricing Lab helps demystify it all by providing a deep dive into the four key issues that are the primary drivers of unaffordable healthcare in America—and that drive The Drug Pricing Lab’s work. We designed an engineered a flexible publishing system that gives the Lab’s team a cohesive system of components to flexibly publish pages that engage audiences with different combinations of content, key statistics, and data visualizations.

Interactive Tools & Turorials

Interactive Tools That Unpack The Complexities of Pharmaceutical Drug Pricing

Along with its wealth of research content that educates audiences, The Drug Pricing Lab website adds a suite of interactive tools that engage and empower people to explore the issues through a variety of lenses. A combination of data-driven interactive visualizations filled with proprietary research and expository tutorials deepen understanding and appreciation of the complex dynamics of drug and healthcare pricing—at the same time that they instantly make clear how complex and intertwined the issues are.

Conflicts of Interst Map

Revealing the Complex Network of Conflicts of Interest in Pharmaceutical Drugs

Conflicts of interest related to pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies are incredibly common and being great potential to influence both costs and patient care. To help The Drug Pricing Lab lay out exactly how this complicated network of industry influences works, we created an interactive tool, the Conflicts of Interest Map—informally and aptly called “The Octopus” because of the significant tentacles that demonstrate the relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and player that participates in how drugs are researched, manufactured, regulated, and delivered. It’s an evidence-based map—and an appropriately tangled mess—that exposes all known ties, financial and non-financial, between the medical product industry and the healthcare ecosystem.

Drug Pricing Tutorials

Following the Complex (And Often Perverse) Journey of Pharmaceutical Drugs

How do drugs go from being invented and approved to being made available to patients? Depends on if we’re talking about the physical journey of the drug or the financial one. Oh, and also, it’s different for drugs that are dispensed through a pharmacy and ones that are administered directly by clinicians. And every step of the way, different stakeholders exert different amounts of influence on the outcomes. Simple, right? Two demystify these complex journeys, we created interactive drug pricing tutorials that tell the tale and make it accessible for expert and lay audiences alike.

Drug Pricing Abacus

Evaluating Drug Prices and Value Based on Public Health, Individual Benefits, and Scientific Novelty

One of the most innovative of The Drug Pricing Lab’s research tools is their “Drug Abacus,” which takes data on 52 cancer drugs and maps them against key. We built a novel interactive tool that empowers audiences to either start with The Drug Pricing Lab’s three pricing dynamic presets to get a quick overview, or dive in and then modify the different drivers that contribute to the price of drugs with advanced filters and controls. As a result, The Drug Abacus both highlights what The Lab’s experts think matter most and empowers audiences to bring their own assumptions and preferences to explore complex drug pricing dynamics.

Our Client's Experience

“The Drug Pricing Lab works in a very complex area of the healthcare industry. Constructive did a great job getting to really know us, how we view our organization, and the issues we work on so that our brand would be effective in delivering the right message. Their team is very research-driven and methodical, just like we are, which made for a great fit. And they were both patient and open to new ideas—all of which resulted in a brand and website that do a fantastic job accomplishing our goals.”

Peter B. Bach, MD—Director, Center for Health Policy & Outcomes, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
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