Exploring Pharmaceutical Mass Customization
Doktorsavhandling, 2022

The core purpose of therapeutic pharmaceutical products is to induce responses to various diseases in patients and thereby bring societal value; however, unmet medical needs currently prevail. Conventional treatment of these products predominantly embraces a one-size-fits-all design and is manufactured in a mass-production context. A mass-production context is driven by economies of scale, however, a one-size-fits-all product design challenges the satisfaction of individual patient needs. Pharmaceutical product customization thus aims to satisfy individuals’ treatment needs and thereby improve their therapeutic outcome; however, this implies a high product variety and low-volume production environment which challenges the cost-effective production with current mass-production platforms.

To address this challenge of achieving the cost-effective production of customized pharmaceutical products, this thesis explores a unified approach to cost-effective design, manufacturing and supply of customized pharmaceutical products. For this purpose, the mass customization principles of product modularization, process flexibility and postponement are adopted and adapted in a pharmaceutical production context.

This thesis proposes methodologies to design and model customized pharmaceutical products and production systems in a unified manner. Furthermore, customized product designs are proposed using product modularization as a design strategy and reconfigured pharmaceutical supply chain (SC) archetypes using postponement as a strategy for the cost-effective design, manufacturing and supply.

The findings suggest that an increased degree of modularization in the pharmaceutical product increases the patient benefit and thus improves therapeutic patient outcomes. In addition, current mass production platforms do not display the process flexibility required for the cost-effective production of customized pharmaceutical products. Moreover, with an increased degree of postponement, opportunities for reduced production costs in the SC emerge. Finally, the cost-effective customization of pharmaceutical products requires an integrated approach of product modularization and postponement. While modeling the production system, this thesis, however, considers an SC from the manufacturer to the pharmacy and patient assessing contemporary cost-effectiveness. Future research directions should investigate societal consequences from a wider, spatial and temporal, health care system perspective.

mass customization

pharmaceutical product customization


product modularization

process flexibility

Virtual Development Laboratory (VDL), Chalmers Tvärgata 4C, Göteborg.
Opponent: P John Clarkson, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


Maria Daniela Irene Siiskonen

Chalmers, Industri- och materialvetenskap, Produktutveckling

Integrated product and manufacturing system platforms supporting the design of personalized medicines

Journal of Manufacturing Systems,; Vol. 56(2020)p. 281-295

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Adapting discrete goods supply chains to support mass customisation of pharmaceutical products

Concurrent Engineering Research and Applications,; Vol. 29(2021)p. 309-327

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Siiskonen, M., Govender, R., Malmqvist, J, Folestad, S. Modeling the cost-benefit impact of integrated product modularization and postponement for pharmaceutical mass customization

Recent research breakthroughs have provided tools to characterize the individual patient with respect to their biological as well as behavioral, environmental and preference characteristics and using these while making treatment decisions allows a better match of treatments to the patient’s individual needs. Such treatments or customized pharmaceutical products, when customized to the individual characteristics of patients aim to offer the patient effective treatments that are safe.

However, currently, pharmaceutical products are not produced in enough variety for the broad population to acquire their optimal treatment. Patients are thus left with unsatisfied therapeutic needs. There is a lack of product designs for cost-effective large-scale availability of such customized pharmaceutical products. Furthermore, there is a lack of cost-efficient approaches to manufacturing and supplying the variety of such pharmaceutical products required.

This thesis has explored the cost-effective product and production system designs for pharmaceutical product customization. Pharmaceutical product designs are suggested that embrace modular designs for the treatment adaptability to individual patient needs cost-effectively. Furthermore, this thesis proposes reconfigurations to the pharmaceutical supply chain for the cost-efficient manufacturing and supply of such, to the individual needs customized, pharmaceutical products. The results obtained in this thesis are promising for further exploration and exploitation of pharmaceutical customization.


Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi

Annan maskinteknik

Övrig annan teknik





Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 5125



Virtual Development Laboratory (VDL), Chalmers Tvärgata 4C, Göteborg.

Opponent: P John Clarkson, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Mer information

Senast uppdaterat