Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2017


Timothy Anderson

Course Title

Operations Research

Course Number

ETM 540/640


Mathematical optimization -- Industrial applications, Pharmaceutical industry -- Management, Operations research


It is becoming more apparent that biopharmaceuticals are an integral part of a healthy society. From insulin to penicillin, biopharma is a ‘white hat’ part of the entity known as Big Pharma. [Synopsis of the biopharma industry’s typical manufacturing processes and the inherent difficulties/challenges that arise at this time; why they need to be solved. What would be gained from a found solution.]

Inherent difficulties of the industry have been the internationalization of the business of biopharmaceuticals, the diversity and complexity of new drugs and diminishing protection provided by patents are some of the challenges that these companies face at a global level which impact the decision making process (Papageorgiou, Rotstein, Shah, et al, 2001).

Methodology: After a few weeks of research, it was found that an optimization of the line had to be set up. In doing this, it was found that a Sensitivity Report could not be administered due to limitations of Excel. Open Solver also operates similarly and was not able to arrive at the optimal solution in any reasonable amount of time. It was found that the problem presented itself somewhat as a ‘diversifying portfolio’ problem in which the resources available are to be utilized in the most optimal way possible.

Results and Conclusions: Excel Solver was still able to find a solution but not able to deploy a Sensitivity Report. The results were typical and met the research expectations. Being dependent on levels of inventory, the decision to run one product over another was elegantly put by Excel Solver. Sometimes, the decision would be made to run more than one product per week. This is permissible so long as the high level of purity and quality can be maintained.


This project is only available to students, staff, and faculty of Portland State University

Persistent Identifier