FDA approves drugs more quickly than peer agency in Europe

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews and approves new medicines in a shorter timeframe than its peer agency in Europe, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), says a Yale researcher. This finding comes at a time when the FDA is under renewed pressure to streamline and speed up its approval process, and provides data to inform ongoing policy discussions.

The report, co-authored with researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and New York University School of Medicine, was published April 5 by the New England Journal of Medicine.

The FDA has faced pressure from the public, politicians, and industry to accelerate review and approval of new medicines. The FDA’s review process is currently being considered and reexamined as part of negotiations to reauthorize the law that directs funds to the agency — the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) — due for reauthorization by October 2017.


Does Immigration Create Jobs?

A recent study found that about half of unicorns in the U.S. owe their existence to immigrants. In this case, by “unicorn,” we mean highly successful, fast-growing startups—not magical creatures. The study, conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy, determined that 44 out of 87 privately held companies valued at more than $1 billion had at least one immigrant founder. It further estimated that each of these immigrant-founded companies created 760 jobs.

This is just one example of how, contrary to much of the rhetoric on the topic, immigration can contribute to economic growth and expansion of the labor market. Academic studies have found that immigration to the U.S. has little negative effect on employment levels of native workers and that the presence of immigrants is associated with greater economic productivity. Another study found that foreign-born graduate students in science and engineering departments at U.S. universities contribute to innovation and research production.



What’s the Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations?

Beneath the heated rhetoric between the United States and Mexico is a complex web of ties that is critical to both countries. Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld recently assembled a group of business and political leaders from both sides of the border to discuss the future of the relationship. He talked to Yale Insights about what he learned from the conversation.


Events emphasize Yale’s military connections, history ahead of WWI anniversary

Eagle-eyed observers would have noticed an increased number of men and women in military uniforms on campus a few Thursdays ago. Students in the Air Force and Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps wore their uniforms as usual on March 9, but they were joined by a small cadre of officers and cadets from the French War College in Paris and the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York for a series of events that emphasized Yale’s military connections and history of contributions to national security.

The French War College is an elite advanced training institute for officers in the French military who have completed 15 years in the field. Officers are selected to join the college through a competitive exam with the objective of helping them “shift from the tactical level to the operational and strategic level,” said Emilie Clèret, head of the English department at the college and organizer of the trip.


To Avert Disaster the US Must Deal With North Korea

North Korea is rapidly developing its nuclear program, conducting multiple missile tests as well as two nuclear tests in 2016. The regime is also accused of using a chemical weapon to assassinate the North Korean dictator’s half-brother who had been living under China’s protection. The brazen attack while the man was in Kuala Lumpur and the series of tests prompted a response from China. “Following Jong-nam’s killing, China has for the first time blocked coal imports from North Korea,” explains Rakesh Sood, former ambassador and disarmament specialist, with more than 35 years of experience with India’s foreign service. “China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner accounting for more than 80 percent of its foreign trade.” Sanctions have not worked, and analysts suggest that the country could have a long-range missile capable of reaching the continental United States before 2019. A dangerous threat confronts countries with a combined population of 2 billion. Sood urges sustained coordination and dialogue, possibly along with assurances that North Korea won’t be attacked first as long as it completely freezes its nuclear program with verification. – YaleGlobal


The Politics, Law, and Economics of U.S. Immigration Policy

Immigration policy has made headlines in recent months, with one side arguing that globalization and immigration threaten the domestic economy and national security and the other arguing just the opposite. What light can economics, law, and political science shed on this debate? How does this political moment and policy debate relate to the themes and topics covered in the State & Society course? Speakers include Michael Clemens, Center for Global Development and Harold Koh, Yale Law School. Moderated by Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor of Economics, Yale School of Management.

April 11, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. EDT


Disrupting US-China Relations Will Incur High Costs

The United States and China, the world’s largest markets, are major trade partners. The relationship provides numerous benefits including affordable goods for households and millions of jobs for both nations: China has an estimated 16 million, albeit many with low wages, engaged in exports to the US, and the United States has more than 1 million engaged in exports to China, explains Farok Contractor, a professor in the Management and Global Business Department of Rutgers University. Donald Trump has revived an outdated charge that China engages in currency manipulation – though formal designation requires the US Treasury Department finding a significant trade surplus, a material current account surplus and persistent one-sided intervention by a trade partner in the foreign exchange market with repeated net purchases of foreign currency. That is not the case with China, which has struggled to prop up its currency in recent months, and Contractor also offers a brief argument to counter allegatons that China manipulates the yuan to increase exports. “Proposals to return jobs to the US are economically non-viable,” Contractor concludes. “Disruption of global value chains would add hundreds of billions per year to US businesses, increasing prices for US buyers – with extra costs falling disproportionately on lower-income Americans.” Political leaders must understand the high stakes of disrupting the trade relationship, and Contractor concludes that cooperation is a better strategy for contending with the challenges of the 21st century economy. – YaleGlobal