Well, I looked through the forum and am surprised this hasn’t popped up (or perhaps, I missed it).
The greatest disappointment I have with the game is that you can’t take something like “encouragesanxiety” and mix it with a cure for anxiety… or sell something that causes “sleepiness” as a cure for insomnia.
In fact, though I haven’t tried it, the game doesn’t really care if I develop cures “erectiledysfunction” + “insomnia”, does it? Of course, a fast acting “cure” for “erectiledysfunction” mixed with “antidepressants” can also be considered a side effect. Many cures, in real life, have negative effects when used on healthy individuals. A cure for “stroke”, being blood thinners, would negatively affect someone who doesn’t have a high platelet count, mixing that with “painkiller” medication should result in a large number of people dying from hemorrhaging (given we tend to take those like candy).
Mostly, the design process is very very linear; and it becomes more of a question of arranging machines (with some cost-per-unit optimization) than experimentation.