Research Project

Measures for Improved Availability of medicines and vaccines (MIA)

Ensuring availability of essential medicines, vaccines and health commodities is one of today’s critical societal challenges


  • Oorschot, K.E. van, Van Wassenhove, L., Jahre, M.

    Collaboration-competition dilemma in flattening the COVID-19 curve

    Production and Operations Management.

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    Testing for COVID-19 is a key intervention that supports tracking and isolation to prevent further infections. However, diagnostic tests are a scarce and finite resource, so abundance in one country can quickly lead to shortages in others, creating a competitive landscape. Countries experience peaks in infections at different times, meaning that the need for diagnostic tests also peaks at different moments. This phase lag implies opportunities for a more collaborative approach, although countries might also worry about the risks of future shortages if they help others by reallocating their excess inventory of diagnostic tests. This article features a simulation model that connects three subsystems: COVID-19 transmission, the diagnostic test supply chain, and public policy interventions aimed at flattening the infection curve.

  • Brekke, K.R., Dalen, D.M. and Straume, O.R

    Paying for pharmaceuticals: uniform pricing versus two-part tariffs

    Journal of Health Economics, 83, 102613

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    Two-part pricing (the Netflix model) has recently been proposed instead of uniform pricing for pharmaceuticals. Under two-part pricing the health plan pays a fixed fee for access to a drug at unit prices equal to marginal costs. Despite two-part pricing being socially efficient, we show that the health plan is worse off when the drug producer is a monopolist, as all surplus is extracted. This result is reversed with competition, as two-part pricing yields higher patient utility and lower drug costs for the health plan. However, if we allow for exclusive contracts, uniform pricing is preferred by the health plan. The choice of payment scheme is also shown to influence on the incentives to spend resources on drastic innovations relative to incremental, me-too innovations.


  • de Vries, H. Jahre, M., Selviaridis, K., van Oorschot, K. and Van Wassenhove, L.N.

    Short of Drugs? Call Upon Operations and Supply Chain Management

    International Journal of Operations and Production Management

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    This “impact pathways” paper argues that operations and supply chain management (OSCM) could help address the worsening drug shortage problem in high-income countries. This significant societal problem poses difficult challenges to stakeholders given the complex and dynamic nature of drug supply chains.

  • Viana, J., Van Oorschot, K., Årdal, C.

    Assessing Resilience Of Medicine Supply Chain Networks To Disruptions: A Proposed Hybrid Simulation Modeling Framework

    , 2021 Winter Simulation Conference Proceedings

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    The objective of the proposed hybrid simulation modeling framework is to improve the understanding and operation of medicine supply chains, to strengthen their resilience to ensure the availability of medicines. The framework draws upon hybrid simulation, supply chain resilience and medicine supply chain literature. The utility of the proposed framework is presented through the development of a case model of a generic (off-patent) case medicine in the Norwegian system to perform scenario-based experiments on disruption events and interventions.

Other articles from researchers



  • Selviaridis, K. and Spring, M.

    Fostering SME supplier-enabled innovation in the supply chain: The role of innovation policy

    , Journal of Supply Chain Management

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    Consistent with the focus of the second emerging discourse incubator (EDI) on researching the effects of institutions (e.g., regulations) and public policies on supply chains, we investigate how enacted innovation policies address SME-specific institutional failures in a public sector context, that of the English National Health Service (NHS).

  • Karamshetty V., de Vries H., Van Wassenhove L., Dewilde S., Minnaard W., Ongarora D., Abuga K., Yadav P.

    Inventory Management Practices in Private Healthcare Facilities in Nairobi County.

    Production and Operations Management, 31(2).

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    In semi-structured interviews with managers of private healthcare facilities in Nairobi, we asked them about their (1) inventory control systems, (2) inventory control skills, (3) time/human resource constraints, (4) budget constraints, (5) motivations for inventory control, and (6) suppliers. Our results suggest that the problems are driven by resource limitations (budget and time/human resources), managerial issues (relating to skills and systems), and market mechanisms that limit overage and underage costs. Unavailability at the supplier level and motivations for inventory control are relatively minor issues.

  • de Vries H., Swinkels L., Van Wassenhove L.

    Site Visit Frequency Policies for Mobile Family Planning Services

    Production and Operations Management, 30(12).

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    Using a large dataset of visits in Madagascar, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, our study models the relationship between the number of clients seen during a visit and the time since the last visit and uses this model to analyze the characteristics of optimal frequencies. We use the latter to develop simple frequency policies for practical use, prove bounds on the worst-case optimality gap, and test the impact of the policies with a simulation model.