Decision Support for Re-Designed Medicinal Products - Assessing Consequences of a Customizable Product Design on the Value Chain from a Sustainability Perspective
Paper in proceedings, 2019

Despite advances in pharmacological research providing means for individually customized patient attribute treatments, the 'one-size-fits-all' paradigm remains. Customization is associated with cost increases and the value assessment of customized medicinal products shows upon a narrow economic focus. Inspired by value models, emerging in manufacturing industry research, this study suggests a novel methodology encompassing a full sustainability perspective, including the social, economic and ecological dimension, for design decision support for medicinal products. A concept screening matrix is adapted, using sustainability criteria as value indicators. The focus is to create value for the whole pharmaceutical value chain whilst keeping the core purpose of medicinal products, i.e. to bring societal benefits. An illustrative case study presents an application of the methodology on a commercial product for curing hypertension. The traditional product design for hypertension treatment is compared to a customized product design. Results indicate that a customized product design is preferable if value is to be created from a social or/and an ecological sustainability perspective.

Sustainable product design

Personalized medicines

Decision making


Product architecture


Maria Daniela Irene Siiskonen

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

Matilda Watz

Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, BTH

Johan Malmqvist

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

Staffan Folestad


Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED

22204334 (ISSN) 22204342 (eISSN)

Vol. 1 1 867-876

The 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design
Delft, Netherlands,

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance


Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)



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