Decision Support for Re-designed Medicinal Products - Assessing consequences of a customizable product design on the value chain from a sustainability perspective

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Siiskonen, Maria (1); Watz, Matilda (2); Malmqvist, Johan (1); Folestad, Staffan (3)
Series: ICED
Institution: Chalmers University of Technology
Section: Design for healthcare
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


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.

Keywords: Personalized medicines, Product architecture, Sustainability, Sustainable product design, Decision making


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