The process of developing new cancer drugs and bringing them to the market needs a major overhaul, argued distinguished futurist Vivek Wadhwa in an email to colleagues and friends the day after he lost his wife to a rare form of cancer called cholangiocarcinoma.
Wadhwa is known for his ideas on the future of everything from artificial intelligence and driverless cars to the relationship between immigration and technology. He has authored thought-provoking books, including “Your Happiness Was Hacked: Why Tech is Winning the Battle to Control Your Brain—and How to Fight Back,” and is a contributor to the Washington Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Forbes, among other national media outlets. As one of TIME magazine’s “Forty Most Influential Minds in Technology,” a Distinguished Fellow and professor at Carnegie Mellon University Engineering, Silicon Valley, and Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program, Wadhwa’s words carry weight among futurists worldwide.
Calling for Change: How One of Technology’s Most Influential Minds Deals With Grief
Wadhwa’s most recent words are as personal as they are big-picture: in the wake of his wife’s death, he argued that the system of new drug development in the U.S. is too slow and that researchers need to do a better job using cutting-edge technologies in the process of developing new treatments.
From the time that his wife, Tavinder Wadhwa, received her diagnosis last September through her death last Thursday, Wadhwa experienced the complicated medical research system first-hand. And while he was grateful to the brightest minds in the field who treated his wife with the best available treatments, one of Wadhwa’s crucial takeaways from his wife’s cancer journey was that, relative to the speed of other innovation, the process of developing and approving new cancer drugs in our country has a lot of catching up to do.