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Iselin Dahlen Syversen

2023–24 Norwegian Harkness Fellow; Head, Department of Negotiation, Norwegian Hospital Procurement Trust

Photo, headshot of Iselin Dahlen Syversen

Placement: Stanford University

Mentor: Kevin Schulman, M.D., M.B.A., Professor of Medicine, Associate Chair of Business Development and Strategy, Department of Medicine; Director of Industry Partnerships and Education, Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC), Stanford University School of Medicine

Co-mentor: Aaron Kesselheim, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Faculty Member, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Project: Towards Equitable Access to Medicines Through Increased Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Market

Iselin Dahlen Syversen M.Sc., is a 2023–24 Norwegian Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice. She is currently head of the Department of Negotiation in the Norwegian Hospital Procurement Trust. She has extensive experience in negotiation and procurement of novel medicines and is particularly interested in how health policy can support equitable and affordable access to medicines and health care. Syversen serves as chair for one of the work streams in the Nordic Pharmaceutical Forum (comprising Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland) that examines joint solutions for new drugs coming to market. She previously held roles in the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, where she contributed to the implementation of policies on priority setting in health care services and the reimbursement system for pharmaceuticals in Norwegian specialized health care. Syversen earned a master’s degree in health policy, management, and economics from the University of Oslo.

Project Overview: Transparency is key to understanding and addressing the dramatically different prices of medicines across countries, and to increasing equitable access globally. There is, however, limited empirical evidence of the effects of increased transparency in this space. To date, there is no clear evidence that increased transparency results in higher or lower net prices. It is, therefore, essential to gain a better understanding of how various approaches to price transparency in the pharmaceutical market affect equitability of access to medicines.

The study aims to build on our understanding of the effects of different approaches to transparency, negotiation, and procurement in the pharmaceutical market. It will use a case study methodology, including the review of available written materials on relevant policies and strategies, site visits, and interviews with key stakeholders. Furthermore, it will include structured interviews with policymakers at the state and federal levels to identify how existing policies have influenced the ability of purchaser organizations to implement approaches to increase transparency.

Through this, we aim to describe and evaluate the implementation and adoption of different approaches to negotiation, procurement, and price transparency in the U.S. pharmaceutical market and the possible effects on the equitability of access to medicines. It also will give formative input to national policy development in both the United States and Norway. Both countries can benefit from this work in assessing best practice, implementation, and policy development for increased transparency and equitable access in the pharmaceutical market.