The FDA and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Price Governance Salon featuring Dan Carpenter, Harvard

February 21, 2013
12:00pm to 1:30pm

Carpenter, author of Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA will join us to discuss the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the most powerful regulatory agency in the world. How did the FDA become so influential? And how exactly does it wield its extraordinary power? Carpenter traces the history of FDA regulation of pharmaceuticals, revealing how the agency’s organizational reputation has been the primary source of its power, yet also one of its ultimate constraints.

Daniel Carpenter is Allie S. Freed Professor of Government and Director of the Center for American Political Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. For the 2011-2012 academic year, he is a Walter Channing Cabot Faculty Fellow at Harvard, and a visiting researcher at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques at the Universite de Strasbourg in France. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1989 with distinction in Honors Government and received his doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago in 1996. He taught previously at Princeton University (1995-1998) and the University of Michigan (1998-2002). He joined the Harvard University faculty in 2002. Dr. Carpenter mixes theoretical, historical, statistical and mathematical analyses to examine the development of political institutions, particularly in the United States. He focuses upon public bureaucracies and government regulation, particularly regulation of health and financial products. His dissertation received the 1998 Harold D. Lasswell Award from the American Political Science Association and as a book – The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862-1928 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001) – was awarded the APSA’s Gladys Kammerer Prize as well as the Charles Levine Prize of the International Political Science Association. His recently published book on pharmaceutical regulation in the United States is entitled Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), and has received the 2011 Allan Sharlin Memorial Award from the Social Science History Association.
Professor Carpenter has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Brookings Institution and the Santa Fe Institute. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Scholars in Health Policy 1998-2000, Investigator Award in Health Policy Research 2004-2007), the Alfred Sloan Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Safra Center for Ethics. In the past few years, Professor Carpenter is the winner of both the 2011 Herbert Simon Award of the Midwest Political Science Association for a scholar “who has made a significant career contribution to the scientific study of bureaucracy”, as well as the 2011 David Collier Award of the American Political Science Association for career contributions to qualitative and multi-method research.

In addition to his ongoing teaching and scholarship on the political economy of government regulation and health, Professor Carpenter has recently launched a long-term project on petitioning in North American political development, examining comparisons and connections to petitioning histories in Europe and India. He hopes to draw upon the millions of petitions in local, state and federal archives to create an educational, genealogical and scholarly resource for citizens, students and scholars.