Judge gives diabetes drug the go ahead

Fri, 15 Dec 2006
Despite patent infringement claims and a storm of controversy, a judge in America has ruled that Pfizer can sell their groundbreaking inhalable insulin product Exubera.

The case is in court because large Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk has accused the manufacturer of Exubera, Pfizer, of infringing on its patents. The judge, in ruling, said the patent dispute was less important than the public need for "new and less invasive treatment for diabetes ."

Furthermore, Judge Leonard Sand, speaking from New York, said that the claim by Novo Nordisk was speculative at best. He said that stopping: "the release of a new and less invasive treatment for diabetes would quite obviously be contrary to the public interest, particularly in the interval between now and trial."

Novo will apparently bring insulin deliverable to the lungs to market by 2011, leaving Pfizer a long reign in the market. Exubera has already been marketed in the US, and will be launched on a wider basis next year. NICE, the government health watchdog, caused concern earlier this year when they objected to Exubera in the UK.
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