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

The MIA Project

Due to increasing shortages, ensuring availability of medicines and vaccines is a key societal challenge. Complex and vulnerable global supply chains, manufacturing problems, product recalls, short product shelve life, new digital technology, a few suppliers dominating markets, funding limitations, and high demand volatility are among the causes of this worldwide problem. In response, countries are developing strategies to safeguard against smaller (e.g. price increase) and larger disruptions of supply (e.g. health system breakdowns) and/or demand (e.g. pandemics).

Extant literature on medicine and vaccine supply chains has failed to conceptualise and model them as systems that must adapt from stable situations to crises and back to stability again. Existing models tend to exclude patients, treating demand as exogenous, and not accounting for market behaviour. There is limited understanding of private-public-partnerships, procurement and contracting, and regulation for improving supply security.

The purpose is to help key stakeholders make evidence-based decisions that sustainably reduce shortages ensuring future health and care services.. We will provide rigorous analyses of costs and benefits of measures, and a basis for comparative studies in other countries by developing baseline data, research design, analytical and pedagogical models and tools. Findings will inform ongoing strategy work and collaboration initiatives within Norway, the UK and Europe more broadly. We will draw policy implications and put forth recommendations for supply chain design, procurement strategies and alignment of economic incentives. We will develop training resources and tool kits and embed these into higher education curricula in pharmaceutical education, risk management and operations/supply chain management, thus increasing cooperation in educational programmes across sectors, stakeholders, and disciplines including health, social science and economics.

Secondary objectives:

  • To contribute to improved supply security, i.e. access to medicine and vaccine services in Norway and the UK.
  • To provide policy makers and other key stakeholders with a holistic and rigorous analysis of the direct and indirect costs and benefits of measures for enhanced supply security of medicines and vaccines, thus contributing to more efficient and effective health services.
  • To provide a basis for comparative studies in other countries by developing baseline data, research design protocols, and analytical and pedagogical models and tools.  


To ensure stakeholders engagement the following reference group has been set up: The Coleman F. Fung Professor in the School of Engineering and a Professor of Medicine (by Courtesy) Margaret Brandeau (Stanford University); Professor Ergun Ozlem (North Eastern University); Kirsten Hjelle (Norwegian Directorate of Health); Frode Forland (Norwegian Institute of Public Health); Jon Andersen (Norwegian Pharmacy Association); Anders Sundgren (Norwegian Medicines Agency); Bente Hayes (Hospital Procurement); Erling Ulltveit (The Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Norway); Director and Professor Kari Kværner (Centre for Connected Care at Oslo University Hospital and BI).